Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

“Can I do more?”

© Irma Coucill and the CMHF
2003 Inductee

Dr. Charles Huggins

Born: 
September 22, 1901, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Died: 
January 12, 1997
Education: 
BA - Acadia University; MA, MD - Harvard University
It was while practising surgery and teaching urology at the University of Chicago in the 1930s, that Dr. Huggins discovered that malignant prostate tumours were directly dependent upon the support of male hormones for their growth and proliferation. This knowledge led to the publication in 1941 of a classic paper in which he put forth the idea that the removal of these hormones and simultaneous treatment with female hormones would cause regression of such tumours.

Further research confirmed the effectiveness of this procedure and pointed the way to future projects. Between 1959 and 1964, Dr. Huggins and his colleagues in Chicago extended their research to mammary tumours and their relationship to body estrogen levels. Dr. Huggins was a scientist’s scientist who passed his enthusiasm and delight in discovery onward to a whole new generation of medical researchers.

Besides receiving many national and academic honours, he served as Chancellor of Acadia University (1972-1979) and was honoured in 1966 with the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology.