YOKOHAMA - As the risk of cancer increases among the country's aging population, immunologist Tasuku Honjo is pinning his hopes on cancer treatments that shift the approach from traditional methods directly targeting cancer cells to ones that stimulate the body's immune system to fight the disease. Nobel laureate Honjo, 77, believes his research can help bring about a cure -- or at least turn cancer into a nonfatal chronic disease -- but the jury is still out on whether immunotherapy can become a first-line treatment option. "Certain types of cancer patients are finally being cured thanks to immunotherapy. So I hope the percentage of such cases will steadily increase along with improvement (in the treatment)," Honjo said in a recent interview. "Even if tumors are not completely eliminated, (people can survive) as long as cancer is kept in check at a level where people can coexist with the disease," he said on the sidelines of an event in Yokohama arranged by Nobel Media in collaboration with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
Apr-3-2019, 06:18:35 GMT