James Allison and Tasuku Honjo Win Nobel Prize

Former Scripps Research postdoc wins Nobel Prize in medicine

Former Scripps Research postdoc wins Nobel Prize in medicine

While the concept of tweaking the immune system to better fight cancer was first demonstrated more than a century ago, it wasn't until Allison's and Honjo's work in the 1990s that promising routes toward immunotherapies emerged.

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. Honjo has separately discovered a second protein on immune cells. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 108 times to 214 Nobel Laureates between 1901 and 2017.

Thanks to Allison's doggedness, anti-CTLA-4 therapy is now an accepted therapy for cancer and it opened the floodgates for a slew of new immunotherapies, Krummel said.

Allison has been recognised for his breakthrough research in cancer immunology with numerous awards. "I didn't set out to study cancer, but to understand the biology of T cells, these incredible cells to travel our bodies and work to protect us". Since then, the agency has approved at least four other PD-1 inhibitors for the treatment of nine types of cancer. "A succession of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and colleagues at MD Anderson, the University of California, Berkeley, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center played important roles in this research". "It represents a paradigmatic shift and a landmark in the fight against cancer".

James P. Allison of MD Anderson Cancer Center at The University of Texas in this picture obtained from MD Anderson Cancer Center (R) and Kyoto University Professor Tasuku Honjo in Kyoto, in this photo taken by Kyodo.

Allison said in a statement early Monday, "I'm honored and humbled to receive this prestigious recognition".

"I was doing basic science to do basic science, but you know, I had the good opportunity to see it develop into something that actually does people good", Allison has said.

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"Targeted therapies don't cure cancer, but immunotherapy is curative, which is why many consider it the biggest advance in a generation", Allison said in a 2015 interview. He announced about a year later that he no longer needed treatment.

Allison started his career at MD Anderson in 1977, arriving as one of the first employees of a new basic science research center located in Smithville, Texas.

Arnault, 72, is married to a member of the Swedish Academy which selects the Nobel Literature Prize victor, and his cultural club Forum received generous funding from the Academy.

Awards in physics, chemistry, peace and economics will follow.

"I want to continue my research... so that this immune therapy will save more cancer patients than ever", he told reporters at the University of Kyoto where he is based.

The literature prize will not be given this year because of a sexual misconduct scandal at the body that decides the award.

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