2018 Medicine Nobel goes to US, Japanese researchers

By Satuk Bugra Kutlugun

ANKARA (AA) – The Nobel Prize for medicine has been awarded to two researchers from the U.S. and Japan for their pioneering work on using the body’s own immune system to fight off cancer.

The 9-million-kronor ($1.01 million) prize money will be shared by James Allison of the University of Texas at Austin and Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University.

The Nobel Committee awarded the researchers "for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation," said a committee statement.

"The seminal discoveries by the two Laureates constitute a landmark in our fight against cancer," the Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute said.

Medicine is normally the first of the Nobel Prizes awarded each year. Achievements in science, literature, and peace have been awarded annually after businessman Alfred Nobel's name since 1901.

There will be no literature prize this year due to a financial and sexual scandal.

Born in 1948 in Houston, Texas, scientist James P. Allison made breakthrough studies in cancer therapy and is best known for his work on how the T-cell inhibitory molecule (CTLA-4) could lead to enhanced anti-tumor immune responses and tumor rejection.

Born in 1942 in Kyoto, Hasuku Tonjo is a Japanese immunologist, best known for his identification of the Programmed Cell Death Protein 1 (PD-1).