Charles Brenton Huggins

"Charles Huggins" redirects here. For the politician, see Charlie Huggins.
Charles Brenton Huggins

Charles Brenton Huggins
Born (1901-09-22)September 22, 1901
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Died January 12, 1997(1997-01-12) (aged 95)
Chicago, Illinois
Citizenship Canadian / American
Fields physiology
Institutions University of Michigan, University of Chicago
Alma mater Acadia University
Harvard University
Known for prostate cancer
Notable awards Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine (1966)
Gairdner Foundation International Award (1966)

Charles Brenton Huggins (September 22, 1901 – January 12, 1997) was a Canadian-American physician, physiologist and cancer researcher at the University of Chicago specializing in prostate cancer. He was awarded the 1966 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for discovering in 1941 that hormones could be used to control the spread of some cancers.[1] This was the first discovery that showed that cancer could be controlled by chemicals.

Early life and education

Huggins was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He graduated from Acadia University with a BA degree in 1920. He went on to study medicine at Harvard University and received his MD degree in 1924. He served his internship and residency in general surgery with Frederick A. Coller at the University of Michigan.[2]


Huggins established a method to measure the effect hormone changes have on prostatic function. He found out that castration or estrogen administration led to glandular atrophy, which could be reversed by re-administration of androgen. In 1941 the beneficial effect of androgen ablation on metastatic prostate cancer was realised when Huggins and Clarence Hodges treated patients by either castration or estrogen therapy. They monitored the prostate size and therapeutic efficacy by measuring serum Prostatic acid phosphatase levels and concluded that androgenic activity in the body influences prostate cancer, at least with respect to serum phosphatase. Huggins was the first to use a systemic approach to treat prostate cancer.

Huggins was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1966.[3]

Huggins died 1997 in Chicago, Illinois at the age of 95 years. His wife died in 1983.


  1. Huggins C, Hodges CV (2002). "Studies on prostatic cancer. I. The effect of castration, of estrogen and of androgen injection on serum phosphatases in metastatic carcinoma of the prostate. 1941.". The Journal of Urology. 167 (2): 948–951. doi:10.1097/00005392-200207000-00004. PMID 11905923.
  2. "Charles B. Huggins, MD, 1901-1997". University of Chicago Medicine 1997 Press Releases. University of Chicago. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  3. Denmeade, SR; Isaacs, JT (May 2002). "A history of prostate cancer treatment.". Nature reviews. Cancer. 2 (5): 389–96. doi:10.1038/nrc801. PMID 12044015.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/19/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.