Nobel Medicine Prize awarded for cancer research

01 October, 2018, 17:42 | Author: Keith Rowe
  • Nobel Medicine Prize,Nobel Prize,James P Allison

The researchers will share a prize of 9 million Swedish kronor (just over $1 million).

Dr. Allison is chair of Immunology and executive director of MD Anderson's Moon Shots Program's Immunotherapy platform.

"The discovery made by the two Medicine Laureates takes advantage of the immune system's ability to attack cancer cells by releasing the brakes on immune cells", tweeted the official Nobel Prize handle. Their approach, known as immune checkpoint theory, had "revolutionized cancer treatment and has fundamentally changed the way we view how cancer can be managed", the committee said.

Though cancer rates continue to decline in the U.S.

Allison has been recognised for his breakthrough research in cancer immunology with numerous awards. "There were a lot of smart people to work with, and it felt like we could do nearly anything". In a key mouse experiment around Christmas 1994, Allison found that when mice with cancer were treated with CTLA-4-blocking antibodies, they were cured.

"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". Certain proteins appear to inhibit the action of the immune system by acting as "brakes".

Today, immunotherapies based on Allison and Honjo's research work especially well for fighting advanced and aggressive tumors.

"When Dana showed me the results, I was really surprised", Allison said.


At news conference later Monday in Kyoto, Honjo said what makes him most delighted is when he hears from patients who have recovered from serious illnesses because of his research.

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

Antibodies against PD-1 have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as an investigational new drug for the treatment of cancer. His research has also helped former President Jimmy Carter, who was diagnosed in 2015 with skin cancer which had spread to his brain.

The Nobel Prize is the world's most prestigious annual award for outstanding work in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and promotion of peace.

Also on Monday, a French photographer at the center of the scandal that led to the unprecedented postponement of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature was sentenced to two years in prison for rape.

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.

No Nobel Literature Prize is being given this year because the Swedish Academy, the body that choses the literature victor, has been in turmoil after sex abuse and financial scandal allegations.

Arnault, 72, is married to a member of the Swedish Academy which selects the Nobel Literature Prize victor, and his cultural club Forum received generous funding from the Academy.

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