James Allison of the University of Texas and Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University will share the 9-million-kronor ($1.01 million) prize for 2018. Researchers from the United States and Japan won the Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday for discoveries that help the body marshal its cellular troops to attack invading cancers. One cancer doctor said "an untold number of lives ... have been saved by the science that they pioneered." James Allison of the University of Texas and Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University will share the 9-million-kronor ($1.01 million) prize for 2018. Their parallel work concerned proteins that act as brakes on the body's immune system.
Two scientists who discovered how to fight cancer using the body's immune system have won the 2018 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine. The work by James P Allison, from the US, and Tasuku Honjo, from Japan, has led to treatments for advanced, deadly skin cancer. Immune checkpoint therapy has revolutionised cancer treatment, said the prize-giving Swedish Academy. Experts say it has proved to be "strikingly effective". Allison, a professor at the University of Texas, and Honjo, a professor at Kyoto University, will share the Nobel prize sum of nine million Swedish kronor - about $1.01 million or 870,000 euros.
The two researchers, from Japan and the U.S., who won the Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday are credited for discoveries that have revolutionized cancer care, turning the body's immune system loose to fight tumors. James Allison of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University learned how cancer can put the brakes on the immune system -- and how to release those brakes. Their work, conducted separately during the 1990s, led to the development of drugs known as "checkpoint inhibitors," first used to treat the deadly skin cancer melanoma but now used for a growing list of advanced-stage tumors, including those of the lungs, head and neck, bladder, kidney, colon and liver. The drugs marked an entirely new way to treat tumors, a kind of immunotherapy that uses the patient's own body to kill cancer cells. Up until then, the standard arsenal consisted of surgery to remove the tumor and radiation and chemotherapy to poison the cancer.
While there are now scientific awards with larger monetary prizes, there is no prize so universally and immediately recognized as a sign of prestige. The 2018 season kicked off on Monday with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, which this year honors two researchers for their work on cancer therapy. James P. Allison, 70, born in Alice, Texas, and now affiliated with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy in San Francisco, splits the prize with Tasuku Honjo, 76, a professor at Kyoto University in Japan. Their joint prize includes 9,000,000 Swedish Krona, which is a bit more than $1,000,000 USD. In the 1990s, Allison and Honjo did separate but parallel research on the use of the human immune system to fight cancer.