Nobel Medicine Prize awarded for cancer research

Nobel Medicine Prize awarded for cancer research

Nobel Medicine Prize awarded for cancer research

The Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded Monday to two researchers from the United States and Japan for advances in discovering how the body's immune system can fight off the scourge of cancer.

Professor Allison works at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston. Their approach, known as immune checkpoint theory, had "revolutionized cancer treatment and has fundamentally changed the way we view how cancer can be managed", the committee said.

The Nobel committee cited Allison's study of a protein called CTLA-4 that functions as a brake on the immune system.

The two scientists have been awarded the prize for their discovery that the body's immune system can be harnessed to attack cancer cells. The therapies based on their research has proved to be more effective in fighting cancer cells.

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His 1994 experiment was spectacularly successful, with mice with cancer cured by treatment with the antibodies that inhibit the brake and unlock antitumor T-cell activity.

Tasuku Honjo discovered a protein on immune cells and revealed that it also operates as a brake, but with a different mechanism of action.

Research by Allison's team has meanwhile led to the development of a monoclonal antibody drug, which was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011 for the treatment of melanoma. Honjo, 76, is a distinguished professor at the Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study and a professor in the department of immunology and genomic medicine at Kyoto University in Japan. No literature prize is being given this year.

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. The peace prize will be announced on Friday, and the economics prize will wrap up the Nobel season on Monday, October 8.

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