Cesar Milstein was born in 1927 in Argentina. He studied at Cambridge University in Great Britain, where he received his doctorate in 1960. Milstein was awarded the 1984 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine, “For the discovery of the principle for production of monoclonal antibodies.
The antibodies are produced by lymphocytes, cells of the immune system, and are used in medicine for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. However, the production of a specific antibody from serum is impossible, because the serum contains a mixture of different types of antibodies. Furthermore, lymphocytes could not be grown in tissue culture.
Milstein genetically fused lymphocytes with myeloma cancerous cells, that can reproduce continuously in culture. The hybrid cell could now be isolated and multiplied, producing the specific antibody in the desired quantities.
Cesar Milstein’s discoveries enabled medicine to deal more efficiently with various diseases, including cancer.