Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

American, Japanese cancer researchers share Nobel Prize in medicine

Nobel Medicine Prize,Nobel Prize,James P Allison Former Scripps Research postdoc wins Nobel Prize in medicine
Carol Daniels | 01 October, 2018, 17:42

Honjo and Allison will split the Nobel prize amount of 9 million in Swedish krona, or $1.01 million.

Allison, whose mother died of lymphoma, built on that research over the next 40 years, mostly in California and in Texas, where he is now chair of immunology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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. Their work has been crucial to developing new and extremely effective treatments.

Though cancer rates continue to decline in the U.S. Such treatment is also called "checkpoint therapy", a term that inspired the name of the Checkpoints, a musical group of cancer researchers in which Allison plays harmonica.

Their work centers on harnessing the immune system to arrest the development of cancer. Allison developed this idea into a new type of cancer treatment.

Trying everything they could in mice to tweak the immune system, Krummel and Allison soon found that a protein receptor called CTLA-4 seemed to be holding T cells back, like a brake in a vehicle. "And I thought, 'If we could do that in people, this is going to be awesome'".

"When Dana showed me the results, I was really surprised", Allison said. Perlmann said the Nobel Committee chose to highlight Allison and Honjo to reflect the basic science that created a new "pillar" of cancer therapy.

In this video about UC Berkeley's new Immunotherapeutics and Vaccine Research Initiative (IVRI), Allison discusses his groundbreaking work on cancer immunotherapy.

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"In some patients, this therapy is remarkably effective", Jeremy Berg, editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals, told the AP.

Berg said that former President Jimmy Carter's cancer, which had spread to his brain, was treated with one of the drugs developed from Honjo's work.

The American Cancer Society's chief medical officer says he and colleagues gave a celebratory toast to Allison at a party on Friday - days before the announcement of the Nobel Prize in Medicine - because they agreed this could be his year.

Other cancer treatments have previously been awarded Nobel prizes, including methods for hormone treatment for prostate cancer in 1966, chemotherapy in 1988 and bone marrow transplantation for leukaemia in 1990.

The physics prize is to be announced Tuesday, followed by chemistry.

Meanwhile, the fact that the literature prize will not be handed over this year has grabbed several headlines.

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.

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