A pioneer in Canadian cancer treatment
Dr. Beer's major contribution to medicine was the isolation and purification of the anti-cancer drug "vinblastine." At the University of Western Ontario, he worked closely with Dr. Robert L. Noble to develop vinblastine from the leaves of the Madagascar periwinkle plant, Vinca Rosea. Vinblastine is one of the most useful chemotherapeutic agents available and its isolation is considered to be a milestone in the history of cancer chemotherapy, particularly for the management of Hodgkin's disease and testicular cancer.
Dr. Beer and Dr. Robert Noble were jointly nominated and inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.