Scientists Who Sparked Revolution In Cancer Treatment Share Nobel Prize In Medicine

Scientists Who Sparked Revolution In Cancer Treatment Share Nobel Prize In Medicine

Scientists Who Sparked Revolution In Cancer Treatment Share Nobel Prize In Medicine

Their work, on stimulating the body's immune system to attack tumours, have produced "strikingly effective" therapies, the Nobel Assembly of Sweden's Karolinska Institute said.

Allison focused on a protein on the surface of T cells called CTLA-4, discovering that it inhibits the immune cells.

The two immunologists - from the USA and Japan, respectively - were awarded the Prize "for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation".

The joint award to Allison and Honjo was given "for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation", the Nobel committee said.

"I didn't set out to study cancer, but to understand the biology of T cells, these incredible cells that travel our bodies and work to protect us". "One challenge is that the clinical success has outrun our scientific knowledge of how these drugs work and how they might best be combined with other therapies to improve treatment and reduce unwanted side effects". "His research has led to life-saving treatments for people who otherwise would have little hope".

Both laureates studied proteins that prevent the body and its main immune cells, known as T-cells, from attacking tumour cells effectively. From 1977-1984 he was a faculty member at University of Texas System Cancer Center, Smithville, Texas; from 1985-2004 at University of California, Berkeley and from 2004-2012 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York.

"This year's #NobelPrize constitutes a landmark in our fight against cancer".

Michael Curran, an immunologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center who worked in Allison's lab for a decade, says the honor was expected-and well deserved.

"For more than 100 years, scientists attempted to engage the immune system in the fight against cancer. "Immune checkpoint therapy" has revolutionised cancer treatment and has fundamentally changed the way we view how cancer can be managed".

"I'm honored and humbled to receive this prestigious recognition", Allison said. The field hums with stories of lives extended: "the woman with a grapefruit-size tumor in her lung from melanoma, alive and healthy 13 years later; the 6-year-old near death from leukemia, now in third grade and in remission; the man with metastatic kidney cancer whose disease continued fading away even after treatment stopped".

After Allison himself replicated the experiment, "that's when I said, OK, we've got something here". No literature prize is being given this year.

No Nobel Literature Prize is being given this year because the Swedish Academy, the body that choses the literature victor, has been in turmoil after sex abuse and financial scandal allegations.

The prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace were created in accordance with the will of dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel and have been awarded since 1901.

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