BREAKING NEWS Car of missing North Iowa man contained human remains Full Story

James Allison and Tasuku Honjo win Nobel Prize in Medicine

American James Allison and Japan's Tasuku Honjo have won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine for a pioneering a...

Posted: Oct 1, 2018 5:01 PM
Updated: Oct 1, 2018 5:01 PM

American James Allison and Japan's Tasuku Honjo have won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine for a pioneering approach to cancer treatment.

The Nobel committee said the pair's research -- which harnesses the body's immune system to attack cancer cells -- amounted to a "landmark in our fight against cancer." The approach, known as immune checkpoint theory, had "revolutionized cancer treatment and has fundamentally changed the way we view how cancer can be managed," the committee said.

Awards and prizes

Nobel Prize

Cancer

Diseases and disorders

Health and medical

Medical fields and specialties

Oncology

Allison said Monday that his son called at 5:30 a.m. and was the first to tell him that he'd won. Later in the morning, the Nobel committee called Allison with the news.

"I'm still in sort of a state of shock, and this is all still sinking in," Allison said.

"I was told by the Nobel committee when I was called this morning that this was the first prize they've ever given for cancer therapy," he said. "I'd like to just give a shout out to all the patients out there who are suffering from cancer to let them know that we are making progress now."

Allison, chair of Immunology and executive director of the Immunotherapy Platform at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, studied a protein that functions as a brake on the immune system. Releasing the brake allowed immune cells to attack tumors, he found.

The discovery led to effective treatments, specifically some called immune checkpoint blockade therapies.

"I'm a basic scientist. I did not get into these studies to try to cure cancer. I got into them because I wanted to know how T cells work," Allison said.

T cells, a type of white blood cell, are part of the immune system and help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Allison's work led to development of the first immune checkpoint inhibitor drug, according to MD Anderson Cancer Center. Ipilimumab, which has the brand name Yervoy, was approved for late-stage melanoma by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2011 and became the first to extend the survival of patients with late-stage melanoma.

Now, ipilimumab is also approved to treat colorectal cancer and a type of kidney cancer called renal cell carcinoma, and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer.

Allison plans to continue his research, focusing on the intricacies of the immune system's response to cancer and identifying new targets for potential treatment.

In December, Allison will be honored at the Nobel ceremonies in Stockholm -- and he said that he looks forward to seeing fellow honoree Honjo in Stockholm, as well.

Honjo, who has worked as a professor at Kyoto University in Japan for the past 34 years, discovered a protein on immune cells and illustrated how that too can operate as a brake, though with a different action. Therapies based on his method have also proved effective in fighting cancer.

"Cancer kills millions of people every year and is one of humanity's greatest health challenges," the Nobel committee said on Twitter.

"By stimulating the ability of our immune system to attack tumor cells, this year's #NobelPrize laureates have established an entirely new principle for cancer therapy."

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded 108 times to 214 Nobel laureates between 1901 and 2017.

Also on Monday, a French photographer at the center of the scandal that led to the unprecedented postponement of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature was sentenced to two years in prison for rape.

A Swedish court on Monday found Jean-Claude Arnault, 72, guilty in a case that dates to 2011.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 135372

Reported Deaths: 2406
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin34290991
Ramsey14168361
Dakota9897138
Anoka8872150
Washington598672
Stearns588344
Scott342934
Olmsted327730
St. Louis302669
Wright254115
Clay232843
Nobles227616
Blue Earth20457
Carver18207
Sherburne171122
Kandiyohi17055
Rice164810
Mower152917
Winona126019
Chisago10402
Crow Wing103522
Lyon9766
Benton9509
Waseca9299
Beltrami9017
Otter Tail8737
Todd8266
Steele7613
Morrison7429
Nicollet73917
Itasca73617
Douglas7083
Freeborn6844
Polk6734
Le Sueur6315
Martin61317
McLeod6024
Goodhue59711
Watonwan5794
Becker5754
Isanti5615
Pine5490
Carlton4441
Chippewa4443
Mille Lacs41315
Hubbard3962
Dodge3940
Wabasha3840
Cass3775
Pipestone35117
Rock3404
Meeker3313
Brown3243
Unassigned29253
Yellow Medicine2856
Murray2833
Cottonwood2820
Redwood28111
Roseau2650
Fillmore2640
Renville25611
Sibley2543
Wadena2393
Faribault2350
Jackson2151
Kanabec21510
Swift2071
Houston2061
Pennington1951
Lincoln1840
Stevens1841
Aitkin1792
Koochiching1704
Pope1610
Big Stone1410
Lac qui Parle1403
Wilkin1374
Marshall1261
Lake1230
Norman1170
Mahnomen1162
Clearwater1140
Grant994
Red Lake782
Traverse570
Lake of the Woods441
Kittson420
Cook170

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 116514

Reported Deaths: 1643
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk19024288
Woodbury724797
Johnson586230
Black Hawk562698
Linn5591132
Dubuque521157
Scott456639
Story401018
Dallas346344
Pottawattamie324744
Sioux244716
Buena Vista226112
Marshall202036
Webster184415
Plymouth166728
Wapello153062
Clinton149226
Muscatine147758
Des Moines139610
Cerro Gordo137726
Crawford136114
Warren12617
Carroll115612
Jasper111234
Henry10675
Marion101810
Lee95610
Tama94837
Delaware78013
Dickinson7417
Wright7271
Boone7239
Mahaska69724
Bremer6779
Washington66211
Harrison65815
Jackson6333
Benton5902
Lyon5537
Clay5354
Louisa52315
Winnebago49719
Hardin4777
Winneshiek4779
Hamilton4754
Cedar4746
Kossuth4690
Poweshiek45911
Buchanan4544
Jones4474
Floyd43711
Emmet43019
Clayton4233
Iowa4109
Page4060
Mills4053
Cherokee4032
Sac3994
Guthrie39515
Cass3903
Butler3832
Fayette3814
Franklin38118
Shelby3732
Allamakee3719
Madison3623
Chickasaw3611
Clarke3523
Humboldt3253
Hancock3204
Palo Alto3142
Grundy3115
Calhoun3094
Osceola2851
Mitchell2811
Howard2709
Monroe25911
Monona2451
Taylor2432
Jefferson2391
Union2314
Appanoose2273
Pocahontas2262
Fremont2061
Lucas2056
Ida1932
Greene1870
Van Buren1802
Davis1784
Montgomery1787
Adair1701
Keokuk1611
Decatur1500
Audubon1481
Worth1450
Wayne1213
Ringgold882
Adams810
Unassigned110
Rochester
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 17°
Mason City
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 20°
Albert Lea
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 21°
Austin
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 19°
Charles City
Clear
28° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 19°
Tracking plenty of sunshine through the week!
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events