Story 15

Research through the decades: breakthrough in medical imaging

Dr Harold Johns with the Cobalt-60 machine, 1950s.

Dr. Harold Johns was a trailblazer in the fight against cancer. Funded by the Canadian Cancer Society, he was influential in the early development of computed tomography (CT) scanners and medical imaging.

In the 1950s at the University of Saskatchewan, he invented the groundbreaking Cobalt-60 machine, which had an immediate positive impact on patient outcomes. The machine allowed for radiation treatment of tough-to-reach tumours – a pivotal advancement in the fight against cancer.

For his remarkable achievements, Dr Johns was named a member of the Order of Canada, one of the country's highest honours. His amazing career and legacy live on today, inspiring a new generation of scientists who are discovering new ways to harness the power of medical imaging to improve cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The Canadian Cancer Society funds more research into more types of cancer than any other national charity in Canada. Learn more about the exciting research we are currently funding.