Nobel Prize in medicine awarded to James Allison and Tasuku Honjo

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded jointly to James P Allison and Tasuku Honjo for discovery of...

The institute added that therapies based on Prof Honjo's discovery "proved to be strikingly effective in the fight against cancer".

Allison and Tasuku Honjo have won this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their pioneering work in the relatively new field of cancer immunotherapy.

"We probably have four or five patients from the early 2000's that had a life expectancy of one year who are still coming to clinic to visit us". They established a new way to fight the disease.

In 2016, after being treated with a drug inspired by Prof Honjo's research, he announced that he no longer needed treatment.

Thomas Perlmann, Secretary of the Nobel Committee of the Karolinska Institute told the news conference that he talked to Honjo over the phone just before the announcement.

More than 25,000 people in Japan have used the medicine to treat lung, stomach and other types of cancer.

"He told me, 'Thanks to you I can play golf again.'.That was a blissful moment". "That was a blissful moment". I have never been happier than that.

Allison says he didn't set out to study cancer, but to better "understand the biology of T cells, these incredible cells that travel our bodies and work to protect us". Normally, key immune system soldiers called T cells seek out and attack invaders. It permits them to recognize the cancer cells as foreign and attack them.

Allison's work, much of it done at the University of California-Berkley, changed that by proving the immune system could identify tumor cells and act against them.

Allsion studied a protein that functions as a brake on the immune system. That role partly falls to a white blood cell known as a "T cell".

Working separately, Honjo discovered another protein, called PD-1, that also hampers T cells' ability to attack cancer, but in a somewhat different way.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a number of immunotherapy treatments, with some targeting PD-1.

After taking various drugs and other options and finding no relief, Shimizu finally tried the newly-developed Opdivo.

"The professor's achievement has given rays of hope to many cancer patients", said Abe.

Also on October 1, 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. The literature prize will not be given this year because of a sexual misconduct scandal at the body that decides the award. He spoke to the Associated Press.

Allison, a professor at the University of Texas, and Honjo, a professor at Kyoto University, were in 2014 awarded the Tang Prize, touted as Asia's version of the Nobels, for their research.

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