Cancer immunotherapy researchers James P Allison (US) and Tasuku Honjo (Japan) have won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Medicine. The two were awarded the prize for their work on a new approach to cancer treatment.
The two researchers, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.
“James P. Allison studied a known protein that functions as a brake on the immune system. He realized the potential of releasing the brake and thereby unleashing our immune cells to attack tumours,” the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet announced in a press release, adding that “he then developed this concept into a brand new approach for treating patients.”
“In parallel, Tasuku Honjo discovered a protein on immune cells and, after careful exploration of its function, eventually revealed that it also operates as a brake, but with a different mechanism of action. Therapies based on his discovery proved to be strikingly effective in the fight against cancer,” the press release says.
According to the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet , the researchers’ work showed how different strategies for inhibiting the brakes on the immune system can be used in the treatment of cancer. “The seminal discoveries by the two Laureates constitute a landmark in our fight against cancer,” the statement reads.
The upcoming awards will be announced as follows:
The Nobel Prize for Physics – Tuesday 2 October, 11:45 a.m. at the earliest.
The Nobel Prize for Chemistry – Wednesday 3 October, 11:45 a.m. at the earliest.
The Nobel Prize for Peace – Friday 5 October, 11:00 a.m.
The Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences – Monday 8 October, 11:45 a.m. at the earliest.
All times listed are local time in Sweden.
The Swedish Academy has decided to postpone the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature.