History of cancer research

Cancer research goes back to antiquity, but the last century has surpassed all the years that preceded it.  One hundred years, is only a small period in the history of science through the ages.  Doctors have moved from few available options to increased survival rate and cure rates that no one would have thought possible not so long ago.

Given the advancement of our understanding of cancer in regard of the clinical, tissue, cellular, and molecular levels in the past 100 years, it is not too optimistic to think that by another centenary, the world will attend a major incidence of cancer and mortality reduction. Exciting progress occur every day in our research and clinical laboratories that will enable us to achieve this goal.




Ancient Times


Middle Ages


Modern Era


Contemporary Era


Cancer: (Latin word, crab) Any malignant growth or tumour from an abnormal and uncontrolled division of body cells. (Reference: Canadian Oxford Dictionary 2004)


*Some of the information in this history was adapted from a project entitled “Landmarks in Cancer Research”, which was developed in honor of the Centennial of the American Association for Cancer Research.*