Speed Reads


American, Japanese researchers awarded Nobel Prize in Medicine for cancer treatments

On Monday, Sweden's Karolinska Institute awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology to American James Allison and Japan's Tasuku Honjo for their work on therapies to fight cancer. Allison, at the University of Texas, realized that a certain protein inhibits the immune system from attacking cancer and developed an approach that released the break on the immune system, unleashing cells to swarm tumors. Honjo, at Japan's Kyoto University, discovered a different protein that acts as a brake on immune cells, the Nobel Committee said, and "therapies based on his discovery proved to be strikingly effective in the fight against cancer."

"Allison and Honjo showed how different strategies for inhibiting the brakes on the immune system can be used in the treatment of cancer," the Nobel Committee said. "The seminal discoveries by the two laureates constitute a landmark in our fight against cancer." They will split the $1 million prize. You can read more about their research in the Nobel press release.