Cancer immunologists scoop medicine Nobel prize

James Allison and Tasuku Honjo pioneered treatments that unleash the body’s own immune system to attack cancer cells.

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Oct 02, 2018
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Cancer immunotherapy hit the headlines again yesterday - this time off the back of the award of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to two of its scientific pioneers.

James Allison at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and Tasuku Honjo at Kyoto University in Japan will share the 9 million Swedish kronor (US$1 million) prize.

Their groundbreaking work on how proteins on immune cells can be use to manipulate the body's own immune system so that it attacks cancer cell has led to the development of some exciting new cancer therapies - some of which are having extraordinary results for some patients. And, as I'm sure you will be all too aware, immunotherapy is now one of the hottest topics in cancer research!

You can read more about their story on the Nature website.

Keeping the cancer-immune setpoint up-to-date

But we still don't understand why immunotherapies work better in some patients than others. 

We're building a community of cancer immunologists who share their knowledge to collate all the factors involved in how a tumour responds to treatment. This invaluable resource could help advance immunotherapy research, and ultimately, help more patients to reap the rewards from these pioneering new treatments.

But we need your help to keep it updated. Please go to the framework and add your comments (n.b. you’ll need to be on a computer, rather than mobile!) – we need your help to keep on updating it as new data in these exciting field continues to be published.   

To help get you started, please follow our a simple step-by-step guide in our ‘how to’ post.


Go to the profile of Dr Alison Halliday

Dr Alison Halliday

Community Manager, Nature Research

Molecular Biologist turned freelance science communicator, with 10 year's experience at Cancer Research UK.

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