STOCKHOLM: James P Allison of the US and Tasuku Honjo of Japan won the 2018 Nobel Medicine Prize for research that has revolutionised the treatment of cancer, the jury said on Monday.
The pair were honoured “for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation,” the Nobel Assembly said.
The 2018 #NobelPrize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded jointly to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo “for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.” pic.twitter.com/gk69W1ZLNI
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 1, 2018
Immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy targets proteins made by some immune system cells, as well as some cancer cells.
The proteins can stop the body’s natural defences from killing cancer cells. The therapy is designed to remove this protein “brake” and allow the immune system to more quickly get to work fighting the cancer.
Allison, a professor at the University of Texas, and Honjo, a professor at Kyoto University, in 2014 won the Tang Prize, touted as Asia’s version of the Nobels, for their research.
The duo will share the Nobel prize sum of nine million Swedish kronor (about $1.01 million or 870,000 euros).
They will receive their prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of Alfred Nobel who created the prizes in his last will and testament.
Last year’s prize went to three Americans for work in identifying genes and proteins that work in the body’s biological clock, which affects functions such as sleep patterns, blood pressure and eating habits.
The physics prize is to be announced Tuesday, followed by chemistry. The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will be named Friday. No literature prize is being given this year.
More to follow