Alex Keown
Oct 01, 2018

Harnessing the body’s own immune system to fight cancer has been one of the key focuses of drugmakers over the past several years. This year, the Nobel committee recognized two research pioneers for their trailblazing efforts in this field.
The Nobel committee awarded American doctor James Allison and Japan doctor Tasuku Honjo with the 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine. In its announcement, the Nobel committee pointed to the wide-spread effects of cancer and lauded the two doctors for their “discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.” Allison, the committee said, studied a protein at MD Anderson Cancer Center that functions as a brake on the immune system and developed the concept into an approach for fighting cancer. Honjo, a professor at Kyoto University, also discovered an immune cell protein that acts in a similar braking manner, although with a different action.

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