Honjo awarded Nobel for medicine

02 Octobre, 2018, 15:25 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University speaks during a press conference in Kyoto western Japan after he was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine Monday Oct. 1 2018

Tasuku Honjo, a distinguished professor at Kyoto University, has been named a co-winner of this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of a protein that has been effective in the fight against cancer. Like many mechanisms in our body, the immune system has the ability to sense prevailing conditions and rapidly amplify a response to defend the body.

Normally, PD-1 proteins work like sunglasses.

Allsion studied a protein that functions as a brake on the immune system.

The Nobel Prize in Physics and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry will be awarded on October 2 and October 3, respectively. You can further help us by making a donation. The combination of both approaches has been very successful in trials and many more are underway to understand exactly how powerful these therapies are.

"Until the discoveries made by the 2018 Medicine Laureates, progress into clinical development was modest".

And the pharmaceutical industry has heavily invested in research in the field. In particular, drugs targeting PD-1 blockade have proved a big commercial hit, offering new options for patients with melanoma, lung and bladder cancers. From 1977-1984 he was a faculty member at University of Texas System Cancer Center, Smithville, Texas; from 1985-2004 at University of California, Berkeley and from 2004-2012 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York.

But it's also not totally harmless, he added.

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T cells are key immune system soldiers. "The significance of immunotherapy as a form of cancer treatment will be felt for generations to come".

The scientists' work in the 1990s has since swiftly led to new and dramatically improved therapies for cancers such as melanoma and lung cancer, which had previously been extremely hard to treat.

However, Karl Peggs of the University College of London said the therapy is not for everyone. "In several patients signs of remaining cancer disappeared".

And it has sometimes been met with too much enthusiasm by patients.

Professor Allison's research led to development of the drug Yervoy, approved in 2011 after studies showed it extended the survival of some patients with late-stage melanoma. Allison, initially driven only by curiosity about immune cells, had a insane thought: Maybe CTLA-4 can be exploited to fight cancer.

The new treatments represented "a landmark in our fight against cancer", the Nobel Assembly at Sweden's Karolinska Institute said in announcing the winners.

At news conference later Monday in Kyoto, Honjo said what makes him most delighted is when he hears from patients who have recovered from serious illnesses because of his research.

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