2018 Nobel Prize awarded to immunologists for cancer therapy

The researches of the two scientists focussed on stimulating the ability of the human immune system to attack tumor cells.

2018 Nobel Prize awarded to immunologists for cancer therapy
Members of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine (from left) Edvard Smith, Anna Wedell and Klas Kaerre sit in front of a screen displaying portraits of James P Allison (left) and Tasuku Honjo during the announcement of the winners of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Photograph: AFP

Stockholm: The 2018 Nobel Prize in the field of ‘Physiology or Medicine’ has been jointly awarded to awarded to two immunologist James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo for their discovery of a new form of cancer therapy.

The Nobel Prize confirmed the news on their official Twitter handle.

“BREAKING NEWS 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,” they wrote.

“Allison and Honjo showed how different strategies for inhibiting the brakes on the immune system can be used in the treatment of cancer,” the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute said, on awarding the prize of 9 million Swedish crowns (€870,000).

The researches of the two scientists focussed on stimulating the ability of the human immune system to attack tumor cells.

According to an official release, American scientist James P. Allison studied a known protein CTLA-4 that functions as a brake on the immune system.

He further realized that the “potential of releasing the brake and thereby unleashing the immune cells to attack tumors. It was then he developed a new concept into a brand new approach for treating patients.”

On the other hand, Japanese Scientist Tasuku Honjo discovered another protein PD-1, and after careful exploration of its function, he “revealed that it also operates as a brake, but with a different mechanism of action.”

Apart from the aforementioned prize, this year Nobel Prize in physics and chemistry are yet to be announced.

With agencies input

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