Search Archives and Manuscripts

Reference PP/HAD
See the rest of this archive
Level Collection
Extent 33 boxes (including 3 wide ones)
Title Haddow, Professor Sir Alexander (1907-1976)
Date 1920s-1970s
Ordering Instructions This archive record describes a grouping of orderable items: to order any of them for consultation, order copies or view them if they have been digitised, navigate down the archive hierarchy to Item level.
Name Haddow, Alexander, Sir, 1907-1976.
Description Correspondence, diaries, autobiographical notes, photographs; scientific notes.

A. Personal and Biographical

B. Scientific

Historical Background

Professor Sir Alexander Haddow FRCP, FRS (1907-1976) was an experimental pathologist specialising in cancer research.

He was born at Leven, Fife, the son of a miner, and grew up in Broxburn, West Lothian. In 1924-1929 he studied at Edinburgh University, graduating MB ChB; following this, he served as house physician and Carnegie Research Student at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, and worked in general practice in Hull, before becoming an assistant lecturer in bacteriology at Edinburgh University. He became a full lecturer and Davidson Reserch Fellow in 1932, his research leading to the qualifications of PhD and MD in 1937 and DSc in 1938.

By 1936 he joined Ernest Kennaway's team at the Royal Cancer Hospital (now the Marsden Hospital) in London, and in 1946 became Director of the Chester Beatty Research Institute, succeeding Kennaway. During these years his work built on Kennaway's achievement of extracting chemicals from coal tar that proved carcinogenic to animals. Haddow reasoned that if these carcinogens were compared to other closely related but non-carcinogenic chemicals the differences between them would prove significant in explaining the genesis of cancer. He also discovered what is known as the Haddow Effect, in which a carcinogenic chemical can be used to arrest a cancer caused by some other carcinogenic chemical (provided that the two chemicals are not closely related). Clinical trials at the Royal Cancer Hospital led to the adoption of the platinum compound cisplatin as a treatment for cancer of the ovary, and other compounds such as chlorambucil, melphalan and busulphan are used for treatment of breast and ovarian cancer, and malignant blood diseases.

Haddow was elected FRS in 1958 and knighted in 1966, receiving many other honours such as the Croix de Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur. He was president of the International Union Against Cancer 1962-1966. His other activities included work with the BBC, service on the Press Council, and work with the Pugwash Conferences of scientists opposed to nuclear weapons.

He was married twice, to Dr Lucia Lindsay Crosby Black (d.1968), with whom he had one son, William George Haddow (b.1934), and after her death to Feo Standing née Garner, scientific photographer, who survived him.

He died in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, in 1976, and was cremated there.

Acquisition Details These papers were received by the Contemporary Medical Archives Centre in April 1984 from the store of the Library of the Institute of Cancer Research, Fulham Road, London SW3.
Accession Number 158
Access Status Open
Access Conditions The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material.
Reproduction Conditions Images are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.
Related Material

In the Wellcome Library:

See also the papers of Sir Ernest Kennaway, (1881-1958) (PP/ELK); for general information on cancer issues see the sources leaflet 'Cancer'.


Alphabetical listings of correspondents (both writers and recipients) in Haddow's letters are included at section level. Where an individual represents an organisation, typically there is only one entry in the alphabetical list, and readers scanning the listing for the other must use the following cross-references. It should be noted that a text search of the database for a particular surname will find it whether it is the lead item in an alphabetical list or occurs later in the sentence, so the fastest way of finding any of these names will often be to search the database in this way.

Andrews, K: see House Of Commons Library: Research Division
Armstrong, P: see Parliamentary Group For World Government
Beale, C H: see Dufay Chromex Ltd
Beale, J: see Imperial Chemical Industries (Pharmaceuticals) Ltd: Biological Dept
Boots Pure Drug Co: Research Dept: see Drummond, Sir J
Bruce, D: see United States Of America: H E The Ambassador
Chapman, Capt E J C: see British Empire Cancer Campaign: General Secretary
Cudlipp, P: see New Scientist
Dickman, H J: see Haverfordwest Rural District Council: Clerk Of The Council
East Malling Research Station: see Vyvyan, M C
Golberg, L: see Benger Laboratories Ltd
Hartley, H O: see Scientific Computing Service
Hill, G N: see The Times
Hoffman, Mrs G: see British Empire Cancer Campaign: Hendon Local Committee; Publicity Officer
Imperial Cancer Research Fund: see Wakeley, Sir C
Imperial Chemical Industries (Pharmaceuticals) Ltd: See Also Rose, F L
Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd: Jealotts Hill Research Station: see Taylor, H
Imperial Chemical Industries: Dyestuffs Group, Manchester; See Also Ellingworth, S; Innes, J P M; Rose, F L; Scott, Dr S M, Sexton, Dr W A
International Union Against Cancer: see Taylor, R M
Jolliffe, C: see Department Of Scientific And Industrial Research
Larman, J W: see Heffer, W And Sons Ltd
Lasky, M J: see Encounter
Liberal International: see Micklem, Dr N
Maclean, C: see The Times
National Coal Board: see Robens, Lord, Of Woldingham
National Research Development Corporation: see Zvegintzov, M
Organon Laboratories Ltd: see Macbeth, A N
Owen, G: see Ministry Of Defence: Chief Scientific Adviser
Pollards Wood Research Station: see Kirby, K S
Pugwash Continuing Committee: see Mott N F
Rodd, Dr E H: see Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd: Dyestuffs Group; Academic Relations Department And Medical Products Panel
Shaw, J J M: see Cancer Control Organisation For Edinburgh And South East Scotland
Stringfellow, O: see Insight
Walpole, A L: see Imperial Chemical Industries (Pharmaceutical) Ltd
Wellcome Foundation: see Henry, T A
Wells, G P: see Society For Experimental Biology
Wooley, G: see The Times
Zuckerman, Sir S: see Ministry Of Defence: Chief Scientific Adviser

Notes The catalogue is available on microfiche via the National Inventory of Documentary Sources (NIDS).
Subject Neoplasms
Subject Nuclear energy
Subject Radiology
Subject Radiotherapy


Subject Pharmaceutical Preparations
Subject Science
Subject Ethics
Subject Tobacco
Subject Radiobiology
Subject Carcinogens
MaterialType Archives - Non-digital
System No. b16e1e96-4500-49d1-ac9f-c9e240d96d41