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October 03, 2011

Scientist Wins Nobel Prize in Medicine For Using Groundbreaking Method to Treat Himself for Cancer [JWF]

At least the Nobel Prize folks actually awarded someone who accomplished something in his life. Used to be a time they'd give out peace prize awards to people with no accomplishments in life other than a dazzling ability to give speeches.

Unfortunately for Ralph Steinman, he died of cancer before they actually announced the award.

A scientist who won the Nobel prize for medicine on Monday used his own discoveries to treat himself for cancer, but died of the disease just days before he could be told of the award.

Calling it "bittersweet" news, colleagues of Canadian-born Ralph Steinman at New York's Rockefeller University said he had prolonged his own life with a new therapy based on his prize-winning research into the body's immune system.

But the 68-year-old physician, who joked last week with his family about hanging on until the annual prize announcement, died on Friday after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

He never knew his life's work had been crowned with the highest accolade science can bestow.

Rules were set up in 1974 to prevent the committee from awarding the Nobel posthumously. A exception will be made in this case.

Since they're now making exceptions, perhaps they can rescind the award they gave the SCOAMF.

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posted by Guest Blogger at 02:40 PM

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