James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo are sharing this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work in establishing immunotherapy as a powerful technique for fighting cancers.
Dr. Allison identified a protein that regulates the immune system’s response to dangers, controlling which allows scientists to boost and target the activities of the immune system.
Dr. Honjo discovered another protein, which performs a similar role but in a different way. Both of the findings have been essential and complementary at leading to the growing power of immunotherapy.
Here’s a short video with Dr. Jim Allison of MD Anderson Cancer Center:
And here’s Dr. Tasuku Honjo discussing some of his work a few years ago:
Top image: Upper left: Activation of T cells requires that the T-cell receptor binds to structures on other immune cells recognized as ”non-self”. A protein functioning as a T-cell accelerator is also required for T cell activation. CTLA- 4 functions as a brake on T cells that inhibits the function of the accelerator.Lower left: Antibodies (green) against CTLA-4 block the function of the brake leading to activation of T cells and attack on cancer cells.Upper right: PD-1 is another T-cell brake that inhibits T-cell activation. Lower right: Antibodies against PD-1 inhibit the function of the brake leading to activation of T cells and highly efficient attack on cancer cells.
Official announcement with more info about the details of the research: The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2018…