Nobel Prize Medicine 2018 awarded cancer immunotherapy
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Nobel Prize for Medicine 2018 awarded for cancer immunotherapy

5:36 AM, 3rd October 2018
Nobel Prize for Medicine 2018
Nobel Prize for Medicine 2018 was awarded to Tasuku Honjo and James P. Allison.

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN: The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2018 is finally revealed. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Medicine jointly to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.

James P. Allison was born 1948 in Alice, Texas, US. He received his PhD in 1973 at the University of Texas, Austin. Since 2012 he has been Professor at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas and is affiliated with the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.

Tasuku Honjo was born in 1942 in Kyoto, Japan. He received his PhD in 1975 at Kyoto University. From 1974-1979 he was a faculty member at Tokyo University and from 1979-1984 at Osaka University. Since 1984 he has been Professor at Kyoto University. He was a Faculty Dean from 1996-2000 and from 2002-2004 at Kyoto University.

Cancer kills millions of people every year and is one of humanity’s greatest health challenges. By stimulating the inherent ability of our immune system to attack tumour cells this year’s Nobel Laureates have established an entirely new principle for cancer therapy.

James P. Allison studied a known protein that functions as a brake on the immune system. He realized the potential of releasing the brake and thereby unleashing our immune cells to attack tumours. He then developed this concept into a brand-new approach for treating patients. In parallel, Tasuku Honjo discovered a protein on immune cells and, after careful exploration of its function, eventually revealed that it also operates as a brake, but with a different mechanism of action.

Therapies based on his discovery proved to be strikingly effective in the fight against cancer. Allison and Honjo showed how different strategies for inhibiting the brakes on the immune system can be used in the treatment of cancer. The seminal discoveries by the two Laureates constitute a landmark in our fight against cancer.

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