of rational chemotherapy of malignant diseases through manipulation of the endocrine regulation. He was able to demonstrate in 1951 that breast cancer was, like prostate cancer, dependent on specific hormones, and that advanced breast cancer could be influenced positively through hormonal manipulation. However only 30 to 40 percent of women with breast cancer responded positively to this treatment. Huggins, searching for a method to predict positive responses, convinced his colleague Elwood Jensen at the Ben May Laboratories in Chicago to develop a method to identify estrogen receptors. This has led to today's classification of breast cancer as estrogen-receptor positive or negative, an important prognostic and therapeutic marker.
The Ben May Laboratories at the University of Chicago were made possible through Huggins' contact with Ben May, a businessman from Alabama. After several years of discussions, Ben May agreed to support the Ben May Laboratory for Cancer Research (now the Ben May Institute for Cancer Research), which was opened in 1951 with Huggins as its first director, a position he kept until 1969, when