Honjo shares Nobel Prize for protein to boost cancer therapy:The Asahi Shimbun

Honjo shares Nobel Prize for protein to boost cancer therapy:The Asahi Shimbun

The 2018 Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology has been jointly awarded to United States and Japanese immunologists James P Allison and Tasuku Honjo.

Allison receives the prize jointly with Tasuku Honjo, 76, of Japan. Those discoveries sparked a revolution for specific cancer treatments.

'I think this is just the tip of the iceberg - many more medicines like this are on the horizon, ' he said.

Antibodies against PD-1 have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as an investigational new drug for the treatment of cancer.

The prize is now worth $1,012,297.05 and will be split between the winners. "The seminal discoveries by the two laureates constitutes a paradigmatic shift and a landmark in the fight against cancer".

The treatments, often referred to as "immune checkpoint therapy", have "fundamentally changed the outcome for certain groups of patients with advanced cancer", it added.

Along with surgery, anticancer drugs and radiation therapy, immunotherapy is drawing attention as another treatment for cancer.

The award recognizes Allison's pioneering research into immunotherapy, a major new tactic in fighting cancer.

Allison's work led to development of the first immune checkpoint inhibitor drug, according to MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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A Texas immunologist was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his development of a cancer treatment program that focuses on the immune system rather than the tumor.

Allison studied Urba's research, then developed a drug in the fight against cancer.

Despite CTLA-4 inhibition being curative in the mice, the drug industry initially showed little interest in Allison's research, but he continued it, and it eventually was shown to be effective in humans as well.

Allison found that by releasing such a brake, immune cells could be unleashed to attack tumors. The prize in economics will be announced next Monday.

Allison will be honoured at Nobel ceremonies in Stockholm in December. A maximum of three laureates are selected.

After the announcement of the winners, the supporters and well wishers started to celebrate the victory.

Last year's prize went to American scientists Jeffrey C Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young for their research identifying genes and proteins that work with the body's internal biological clock, thereby influencing functions such as sleeping patterns, blood pressure and eating habits. And the Nobel Peace Prize will be named on Friday.

Among the numerous awards and honours that Honjo has received are the Order of Culture, the Robert Koch Prize and the Imperial Prize of the Japan Academy.

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