Some mentally ill patients in Illinois were subjected involuntarily to experimental cancer surgery in the 1950s and 1960s, the Cook Couty public guardian's office has alleged.

Dr. Charles B. Huggins of the University of Chicago-the 1966 co-winner of the Nobel Prize for discovering uses of hormones in treating prostate cancer-was named in a suit filed by the guardian as the person who "apparently supervised" the tests.

However, the only defedants are the state Department of Mental Health, its director, Rober deVito, and the university.

Huggins was merely identified in one of the suit's allegations.

It was not learned if the allegations.

It was not learned if the alleged experimental surgery was involved in the Nobel Prize research.

The suit filed by the public guardian's office charged that the operations were conducted in 1950s and 1960s by the University of Chicago and the Mental health Departmant, and that an undertermined number of patients at the state's Manteno Mental Health Center unknowingly had their adrenal glands removed at a University of Chicago hospital.

"These were just poor, helpless individuals who were used as guinea pigs," said Patrick Murphy, acting public guardian who filed the suit yesterday.