The Nobel Prize 2018 in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly to James P Allison and Tasuku Honjo on Monday for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.
A series of tweets from the Nobel Foundation has described the basics of the work undertaken by Allison and Honjo.
In the first tweet, the Nobel Foundation announced that James P Allison and Tasuku Honjo had been jointly awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for “their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation”.
Watch the moment the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is announced.
Presented by Thomas Perlmann, Secretary-General of the Nobel Committee. pic.twitter.com/uSV5gp6A5P
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 1, 2018
“This year’s #NobelPrize 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,” read the next tweet.
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, said the Nobel Foundation in another tweet.
Tasuku Honjo 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, read the tweet describing Honjo’s work.
The Nobel Prize 2017 in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly to Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W Young for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.
This year’s laureates showed how different strategies for inhibiting the brakes on the immune system can be used in the treatment of cancer. Their discoveries are a landmark in our fight against cancer, read the Noble Prize website.
The Physics prize is to be announced on Tuesday, followed by Chemistry. The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will be named on Friday.
No literature prize is being awarded this year.
(With agency inputs)