Story 22

How a breakthrough in one type of cancer is helping patients with other diseases

Drs Robert Noble and Charles Beer. Credit Irma Coucill and the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

Children with Hodgkin lymphoma used to die within weeks of being diagnosed. It's a rare cancer of the lymphatic system that affects approximately 35 Canadian children every year. Thanks to the discovery of vinblastine in 1958, today 93% of children diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma will live at least 5 years after their diagnosis.

The Canadian Cancer Society funded the work that led to the discovery of vinblastine by Dr Robert Noble and Dr Charles Beer in London, Ontario. Today, vinblastine is also used to treat other lymphomas, testicular cancers and Kaposi sarcoma, a type of cancer common in people with AIDS.

Drs Noble and Beer were inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 1997.

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.