Who is Nobel Medicine Prize victor James P Allison?

James P Allison and Tasuku Honjo win Nobel prize for medicine

By releasing this brake, the body's own immune system can be stimulated to attack tumors. Honjo's research led to the clinical development of treating cancer patients by targeting that protein.

"In parallel, Tasuku Honjo discovered a protein on immune cells and, after careful exploration of its function, eventually revealed that it also operates as a brake, but with a different mechanism of action".

The institute added that therapies based on Prof Honjo's discovery "proved to be strikingly effective in the fight against cancer".

Allison's and Honjo's work focused on proteins that act as brakes on the immune system - preventing the body's main immune cells, known as T-cells, from attacking tumors effectively.

Thanks to Allison's doggedness, anti-CTLA-4 therapy is now an accepted therapy for cancer and it opened the floodgates for a slew of new immunotherapies, Krummel said. The discovery led to effective treatments.

Meanwhile, Honjo, who is now a professor at Kyoto University in Japan, discovered a similar immune system-braking protein. Allison's initial findings can be credited for prompting researchers, including Allison himself, to carry out the studies that have demonstrated the potent anti-cancer effects of PD-1 antibodies. Allison conducted the research at the University of California-Berkeley.

The Nobel jury said that "for more than 100 years, scientists attempted to engage the immune system in the fight against cancer".

In a statement to reporters after learning of his award, Allison said he was "honored and humbled".

"I was doing basic science to do basic science, but you know, I had the good opportunity to see it develop into something that actually does people good", Allison has said.

He was recruited back to MD Anderson in November 2012 to lead the Immunology Department and to establish an immunotherapy research platform for MD Anderson's Moon Shots Program. Carter announced in 2016 that he no longer needed treatment.

He said Allison's work a decade ago "really opened up immunotherapy" as a fifth pillar of cancer treatments, after surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and precision therapy. "We need more basic science research to do that".

The Nobel Prize for physics is set to be announced on Tuesday.

The discovery made by the two laureates "constitutes a landmark in our fight against cancer", the committee tweeted shortly after the announcement.

Arnault, 72, is married to a member of the Swedish Academy which selects the Nobel Literature Prize victor, and his cultural club Forum received generous funding from the Academy.

Last year, USA geneticists Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young were awarded the medicine prize for their research on the role of genes in setting the "circadian clock" which regulates sleep and eating patterns, hormones and body temperature.

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