Health Care

U.S. and Japanese scientists to share Nobel prize for cancer work

U.S. and Japanese scientists to share Nobel prize for cancer work

The combined work of these two scientists has led to new ways to beat cancer.

The Nobel Committee awarded the researchers "for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation", said a committee statement.

Honjo, the fifth Japanese to win a Nobel in medicine, discovered the PD-1 protein, which is responsible for suppressing the immune response.

Koichi Shimizu, who lives in Chiba Prefecture near Tokyo, is one of them. The discoveries made by the two were considered to be a landmark in the fight against the disease.

Indeed, a drug based on Honjo's research was used to treat former President Jimmy Carter, who was diagnosed in 2015 with melanoma that had spread to his brain. Carter announced in 2016 that he no longer needed treatment.

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Thomas Perlmann, Secretary of the Nobel Committee of the Karolinska Institute told the news conference that he talked to Honjo over the phone just before the announcement.

1 that his son called at 5:30 a.m. and was the first to tell him that he'd won. Colleagues arrived at his hotel room with champagne at 6:30 a.m.in the morning to celebrate.

The discoveries led to the creation of a multibillion-dollar market for new cancer medicines.

"I had lung cancer", the member was quoted as saying, "and thought I was playing my last round of golf". "That was a blissful moment. A comment like that makes me happier than any prize", he said. Normally, key immune system soldiers called T cells seek out and attack invaders. They protect our T-cells from becoming overexposed to foreign invaders and, as outcome, too revved up.

American James Allison studied a protein that functions as a brake on the immune system.

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Dr Allison looked at a protein that acts as a brake on the immune system.

The process targets proteins that help control the action of T-cells, which destroy foreign agents in the body.

The pioneering work of Allison and Honjo led to the development of several drugs, including ipilimumab (Yervoy), the first immunotherapy drug, and the PD-1 inhibitors nivolumab (Opdivo) and pembrolizumab (Keytruda). "The number of different types of cancers for which this approach to immunotherapy is being found to be effective in at least some patients continues to grow".

The treatments, often referred to as "immune checkpoint therapy", have "fundamentally changed the outcome for certain groups of patients with advanced cancer", it added. "They are living proof of the power of basic science", he said in a statement.

The winners of this year's physics prize will be announced on Tuesday, followed by the chemistry prize on Wednesday. No literature prize is being given this year. He spoke to the Associated Press.

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