Story 72

A stem cell research legacy

Drs Ernest McCulloch (right) and James Till (centre), with a colleague

In February 1961, Dr Ernest McCulloch and Dr James Till made a discovery that would revolutionize medicine: they proved the existence of stem cells, which opened a world of possibility for breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer and other diseases. The discovery of stem cells led to the development of life-saving bone marrow transplants.

With funding provided by the Canadian Cancer Society, the 2 researchers proved that all blood cells come from stem cells within the bone marrow. Bone marrow transplants are now used as a life-saving treatment for many cancers. And their research became the foundation for promising cancer stem cell research that continues to this day.

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.