James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo share the Nobel Prize for their work on harnessing the cancer patient's own immune system to destroy tumors.
“The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute has today decided to award the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, jointly to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.”
Thomas Perlmann, secretary of the Nobel Assembly shortly after 5:30 this morning Eastern time.
“James P. Allison was born in Alice, in Texas, in the United States. He performed his prize-winning studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He is now active at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Tasuku Honjo was born in Kyoto, in Japan. He performed his prize-winning studies at Kyoto University, where he is still active.”
Karolinska Institute immunologist Klas Kärre, a member of the Nobel Committee, explained the significance of the work of the new Nobel laureates:
“Allison’s and Honjo’s discoveries have added a new pillar in cancer therapy. It represents a completely new principle, because unlike the previous strategies it is not based on targeting the cancer cells, but rather the brakes, the checkpoints, of the host immune system. The seminal discoveries by the two laureates constitute a paradigmatic shift and a landmark in the fight against cancer.”
For an in-depth listen about the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, look for the Scientific American Science Talk podcast later today.
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]