In 1956, physician E. Donnall Thomas performed the first successful bone marrow transplant.
The first transplant was between a set of identical twins. Thirteen years later, Thomas and his team performed the first transplant on a leukemia patient with a relative, not an identical twin.
Through successful bone marrow transplants, the survival rates for leukemia and lymphomas cancer patients greatly increase.
In 1990, Thomas received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Craft, Dr. Naomi. The Little Book of Medical Breakthroughs. New York: Metro Books, 2010, 134.
Photo and Nobel Prize information via the Nobel Prize website.