Japanese, American scientists win Nobel Prize for breakthrough cancer treatment

US Japanese Immunologists Win Nobel For Revolutionary Cancer Treatment

They can stop certain cells from maturing which in turn means that killer T cells are unaware that tumorous cells are in the body.

This is the name given to the class of cancer drug that works by unleashing the immune system to attack tumours. Meanwhile, Honjo separately discovered a second protein on immune cells that also acted as a brake but with a different mechanism.

In a statement to reporters after learning of his award, Allison said he was "honored and humbled".

Allison conducted the research at the University of California-Berkeley.

We now know that the current crop of immune checkpoint inhibitor drugs will help a minority of patients across many cancers, but still fail the majority.

"We need these drugs to work for more people", Allison said.

Clinical studies document successful fights against melanoma, lymphoma, lung cancer and renal cancer, and further studies indicate therapy combining CTLA-4 and PD-1 treatments could be even more effective for melanoma patients.

The Nobel Prize laureates for Medicine or Physiology 2018, James P Allison, and Tasuku Honjo.

The drugs marked an entirely new way to treat tumours, a kind of immunotherapy that uses the patient's own body to kill cancer cells. The discoveries led to one of the decade's major advance in cancer therapy - drugs called checkpoint inhibitors.

In 2014, Dr. Allison was awarded a Canada Gairdner International Award for his pioneering work on checkpoint inhibitors, making him the 88th victor of the prestigious Canadian prize to go on to claim a Nobel.

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Other cancer treatments have previously been awarded Nobel prizes, including methods for hormone treatment for prostate cancer in 1966, chemotherapy in 1988 and bone marrow transplantation for leukaemia in 1990.

"However, advanced cancer remains immensely hard to treat, and novel therapeutic strategies are desperately needed", the Nobel Assembly said.

The new treatments represented "a landmark in our fight against cancer", the Nobel Assembly at Sweden's Karolinska Institute said in announcing the winners.

They will receive their prize at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on 10th December.

A Swedish court on Monday found Jean-Claude Arnault, 72, guilty in a case that dates to 2011.

Shigeko, who studied math and science at university, said the Nobel Prize made her think she can now settle down after years of supporting her family while Honjo went from job to job, forcing their children to change schools.

The Swedish Academy canceled this year's literature prize as a result of the crisis.

News that Honjo became the 26th Japanese Nobel Prize victor was met with a shower of praise from cancer patient groups and the Japanese government on Monday.

The Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded in Oslo on Friday, while the announcement of the economics prize will cap off this year's Nobel season on October 8.

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