Dedicated to cancer treatment since 1923

The Centre Léon Bérard is more than 90-year-old.

On November 10, 1923, Professor Léon Bérard (one of the pioneer in thoracic surgery and cancer control in our country) inaugurated the second French comprehensive cancer centre under the Grand Dôme of the Hotel Dieu Lyon hospital with 60 beds at the time. 

Thanks to the Lyon cancer treatment association, the Centre got one of the first important endowments of Radium, a powerful weapon against cervix cancer and buccal mucous cancers. Patients fled in and the Hôtel Dieu became soon too small.

In 1935, a new centre took place in one of the wing of the Edouard Herriot Lyon Hospital. It was equipped with high-throughput radiotherapy devices and a state-of-the-art surgical unit.

When Professor Léon Bérard retired in 1940, the new Centre was already saturated. A new centre project was then developed with Professor Paul Santy, with a capacity of 300 patients. The first stone of the new centre was laid in 1950; it opened its doors in 1958 and has remained there to this day. 

Some landmark dates in the history of the CLB:

 1980   Start of a renovation plan of the whole in-patient rooms. 
 1981   Creation of the first Inserm U-218 Research unit
 1985   Installation of the first Scan X and implantation of a sterile 4-bed marrow-transplant unit
 1990   Data computerization development, and setting up of the electronic medical file 3 years later 
 1992   Implementation of the first development plan on 5 years aiming to  : welcoming patients, assessment, internal unit, research and education, integration to the regional fabric
 1993   Change of scan with a new continuous scanning device reducing exam period
 1995   Implementation of the first conformal radiation therapy device
 1996   Creation of the Inserm U-453 unit
 1997   Creation of the mixed CNRS unit and completion of the second medical project and the establishment project which will succeed in an agreement of objectives and means with the Regional Hospitalization Agency (ARH).
 2000   Certification of the Centre by the ANAES without any reservation nor recommendation
 2003   New 5-year establishment project 
 2005   Renovation of the outpatient unit and the medical and surgery consultation wards. Acquisition of a fifth accelerator for radiotherapy.
 2006   Certification by the French National Authority for Health without reservation
 2008   Opening of the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Institute (IHOPE)
 2009   Inauguration of a fourth building dedicated to research and launch of the 4th establishment project
 2010   Setting up of a Cyberknife and initiation of the construction of a new centre for outpatient cares

Opening of the new outpatient care centre and acquisition of tomotherapy


Inauguration of the Cheney B building dedicated to personalized medicine

Directors of the Centre Léon Bérard

  • From 1923 to 1943 Professor Léon Bérard
  • From 1940 to 1941 Professor René Leriche
  • From 1941 to 1958 Professor Paul Santy
  • From 1958 to 1972 Professor Marcel DArgent
  • From 1972 to 1974 Docteur Emile Pommatau
  • From 1974 to 1989 Professor Marcel Mayer
  • From 1989 to 2009 Professor Thierry Philip
  • From 2009 to 2014 Professor Sylvie Négrier
  • Since December 1, 2014 Professor Jean-Yves Blay

Close-up: What do you know on the Centre Léon Bérard.

Léon Eugène Bérard, a surgeon specialized in oncology is behind the Centre Léon Bérard.
Professor Léon Bérard was born in 1870 and you may not be acquainted with him. Let’s come back to this important figure in the Lyon medicine, one of the pioneers of cancer control in France.

1- Léon Bérard was born on February 17, 1870 in Morez (Jura) and died in Lyon on September 2, 1956.

2- On November 10, 1923, he inaugurated the first French comprehensive cancer centre, in the heart of the Hôtel Dieu Lyon Hospital on the headland.

3- On May 19, 1958 the Centre Léon Bérard as we currently know it is inaugurated with 300 inpatient beds, 2 years after the death of Léon Bérard

4- Léon Béard was a surgeon, specialized in thoracic and neck surgery.

5- Léon Bérard was the favorite student of the famous Antonin Poncet in the Medicine University, where he became thereafter a teaching fellow.

6- Léon Bérard handled a lot of research studies, especially on neck surgery.

7- Léon Bérard and Auguste Lumière were bound by a deep friendship.

8- Léon Bérard and Auguste Lumière worked together at the hotel Dieu. Auguste Lumière is the first donator of the comprehensive cancer centre and he especially contributed to the funding of cancer research.

9- Léon Bérard is the first surgeon who started filming his surgeries

10- Léon Bérard worked until he was 70. 


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