Noble prize for medicine awarded to immunologists for research on cancer treatment

 This year’s Nobel Prize for Medicine constitutes a landmark in our fight against cancer. The discovery made by the two Medicine Laureates takes advantage of the immune system’s ability to attack cancer cells by releasing the brakes on immune cells

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Image courtesy: The Nobel Prize committee (Twitter)

The Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine has been awarded to James P Allison and Tasuku Honjo “for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.”

American James P. Allison and Japanese Tasuku Honjo, won the annual award for work on a new approach to cancer treatment

Nobel Prize laureate James P. Allison studied a protein that functions as a brake on the immune system. He realised the potential of releasing the brake and unleashing our immune cells to attack tumours. He developed this concept into a new approach for treating patients.

Tasuku Honjo, awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize for medicine, discovered a protein on immune cells and revealed that it also operates as a brake, but with a different mechanism of action. Therapies based on his discovery proved to be strikingly effective in the fight against cancer.

The 2018 Nobel Prize 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.”

Last year’s prize went to three Americans for work in identifying genes and proteins that work in the body’s biological clock, which affects functions such as sleep patterns, blood pressure and eating habits.