Medical

Nobel Medicine Prize awarded for cancer research

Nobel Medicine Prize awarded for cancer research

The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly on Monday to James P Allison and Tasuku Honjo for their "discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation", the Nobel committee announced on Monday.

Whereas both proteins have proven to be effective targets for treating different types of cancer, PD-1 has shown stronger results for the so-called immune checkpoint therapy, according to the Nobel Prize Foundation.

Their work centers on harnessing the immune system to arrest the development of cancer.

Allison studied a protein that functions as a brake on the immune system.

"For more than 100 years, scientists attempted to engage the immune system in the fight against cancer".

Allison's research was conducted at the University of California, Berkeley. A driving motivation for scientists is simply to push the frontiers of knowledge.

Their breakthroughs take advantage of the immune system's ability to attack cancer cells by releasing the brakes on immune cells. "I didn't set out to study cancer, but to understand the biology of T cells, these incredible cells that travel our bodies and work to protect us", he said.

The Nobel Prize laureates for Medicine or Physiology 2018 are James P. Allison, U.S. and Tasuku Honjo, Japan presented at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden October 1, 2018.




Allison's and Honjo's prize-winning work started in the 1990s and was part of significant advances in cancer immunotherapy.

"I would like to keep on doing my research.so that this immune treatment could save more cancer patients", he said.

"In some patients, this therapy is remarkably effective", Jeremy Berg, editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals, told the AP.

Therapy developed from Honjo's work led to long-term remission in patients with metastatic cancer that had been considered essentially untreatable, the Nobel Assembly said.

Medicine is the first of the Nobel Prizes awarded each year.

"Cancer kills millions of people every year and is one of humanity's greatest health challenges", the Nobel committee said on Twitter.

Other cancer treatments have been awarded Nobel prizes, including hormone treatment for prostate cancer in 1966, chemotherapy in 1988 and bone marrow transplants for leukemia in 1990.


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