Nobel prize awarded to former UC Berkeley research director

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He said the idea of releasing the brakes on immune system cells has led to drugs for the skin cancer melanoma and for cancers of the lung, head and neck, bladder, kidney and liver.

Checkpoint inhibitors now available to patients can be used to treat lung, kidney, bladder, head and neck cancers as well as aggressive skin cancer and Hodgkin lymphoma, reports Denise Grady for The New York Times.

Two scientists shared the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the Nobel Committee announced here on Monday. Such cancers can be hard to treat, and therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation can do damage as well as good.

For finding a way for the body to release the brake on immunity cells to attack cancer cells, James P Allison and Tasuku Honjo win a Nobel Prize.

The drug ipilimumab was the first checkpoint inhibitor approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2011.

"The seminal discoveries by the two Laureates constitute a landmark in our fight against cancer", the institute said.

Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University heads to the venue for a press conference in Kyoto.

Their work centers harnessing the immune system in such a way as to arrest the development of cancer.

Working separately, Honjo discovered another protein, called PD-1, that also hampers T cells' ability to attack cancer, but in a somewhat different way. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Molecular Immunology, Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, California, for three years till 1977, when he began his teaching carrier.

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Houston, Oct 2 James Allison, the victor of the 2018 Nobel Medicine Prize, has said he never dreamed that his research would take the direction it has.

Dr Allison looked at a protein that acts as a brake on the immune system.

Jedd Wolchok is the chief of melanoma and immunotherapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY. They have come up with a unique cancer drug which strengthens the patient's own immune system to fight against the fatal disease.

Perlmann said he had not yet managed to contact Allison.

He has spent a large part of his career studying devising strategies to fight cancer by studying the regulation of T cell responses in the human body. As a researcher, "I like being on the edge and being wrong a lot". Therapies based on his method have also proved effective in fighting cancer.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has congratulated Nobel Prize victor Tasuku Honjo of Japan. The academy hopes to award both the 2018 prize and the 2019 literature prize next year. Allison then spent more than 15 years convincing other scientists and drug companies that his approach could work.

A ceremony at which the prizes are bestowed will be held December 10.

The Nobel in physics will be announced Tuesday, followed by the award for chemistry on Wednesday and the peace prize on Friday.