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00000178-5fb1-d100-a9fb-7fb9d77f0000Stories of Cancer. Scroll down to read our collection of personal essays about cancer. Watch: Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies is a six-hour TV series directed by filmmaker Barak Goodman, aired March 30-April 1.Watch: Find videos of our live events in Indianapolis with medical researchers, caregivers, physicians, patients and clergy, here.

A Moment in Cancer History: Testicular Cancer and the Platinum Breakthrough

Cisplatin crystals, a platinum compound used to treat testicular cancer.
Larry Otsby
National Cancer Institute
Cisplatin crystals, a platinum compound used to treat testicular cancer.

In the early 1970s, a diagnosis of testicular cancer was practically a death sentence for a man in the prime of his life. Then in 1974, oncologist Larry Einhorn tried an experimental platinum-based chemotherapy on one patient, John Cleland. Cleland's cancer had metastasized, filling his chest with tumors. Amazingly, three weeks after Dr. Einhorn's treatment, all of his tumors were gone.

Today, thanks to Einhorn, 90% of testicular cancers are cured. Sound Medicine host Barbara Lewis spoke with Dr. Einhorn about his breakthrough, and the work that he’s doing today to treat the side-effects of chemotherapy in long-term survivors. We also hear from John Cleland, the first patient to receive Einhorn’s platinum-based therapy. 

Listen to the interview with John Cleland.

Dr. Larry Einhorn, is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Livestrong Foundation Professor of Oncology at Indiana University’s Simon Cancer Center. Einhorn and Cleland are both featured in the PBS documentary Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies.