The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded on Monday to James P. Allison of the United States and Tasuku Honjo of Japan for their work on unleashing the immune system’s ability to attack cancer, a breakthrough in developing new cancer treatments.
Why did they win?
Dr. Allison and Dr. Honjo, working separately, showed in the 1990s how certain proteins act as “brakes” on the immune system’s T-cells, limiting their ability to attack cancer cells, and that suppressing those proteins could transform the body’s ability to fight cancer.
Why is the work important?
Until their breakthroughs cancer treatment consisted of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Their work led to a fourth class of treatment, harnessing the immune system, what the Nobel committee at the Karolinska Institute called “an entirely new principle for cancer therapy.”
|The Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine was awarded to James P. Allison, left, and Tasuku Honjo on Monday for their work on cancer research.
Who are the winners?
Dr. Honjo, 76, is a longtime professor at Kyoto University, where he did his breakthrough work. Previously, he did research at Osaka University, the University of Tokyo and the National Institutes of Health in Washington.
Dr. Allison, 70, is chairman of immunology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. He did the work recognized by the Nobel committee while working the University of California at Berkeley and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
Who won the 2017 Physiology or Medicine Nobel?
Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young were recognized for discoveries about the molecular mechanisms controlling the body’s circadian rhythm. Understanding misalignments between a person’s lifestyle and the rhythm dictated by their inner timekeeper has implications for health and disease risks.
When will the other Nobels be announced?
• The Nobel Prize in Physics will be announced on Tuesday in Sweden. Read about last year’s winners, Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish.
• The Nobel Prize in Chemistry will be announced on Wednesday in Sweden. Read about last year’s winners, Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson.
• The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday in Norway. Read about last year’s winner, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
• The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science will be announced next Monday in Sweden. Read about last year’s winner, Richard H. Thaler.
• The Nobel Prize in Literature has been postponed. The institution that chooses the laureate is embroiled in a scandal involving allegations of sexual misconduct, financial malpractice and repeated leaks — a crisis that led to the departure of several board members and required the intervention of the king of Sweden. Two laureates might be announced next year. Read about last year’s winner, Kazuo Ishiguro.NYTimes