American, Japanese win Nobel for cancer research

Published 10-01-2018

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STOCKHOLM (AP) - The Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded Monday to two researchers from the United States and Japan for advances in discovering how the body's immune system can fight off the scourge of cancer.

The 9-million-kronor ($1.01 million) prize will be shared by James Allison of the University of Texas at Austin and Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University.

Their parallel work concerned proteins that act as brakes on the body's immune system and it constitutes "a landmark in our fight against cancer," said a statement from the Nobel Assembly of Sweden's Karolinska Institute, which selects winners of the annual prestigious award.

Allison studied a known protein and developed the concept into a new treatment approach, whereas Honjo discovered a new protein that also operated as a brake on immune cells.

"I'm honored and humbled to receive this prestigious recognition," Allison said in a statement. "A driving motivation for scientists is simply to push the frontiers of knowledge. I didn't set out to study cancer, but to understand the biology of T cells, these incredible cells that travel our bodies and work to protect us."

Last year's prize went to three Americans for work in identifying genes and proteins that work in the body's biological clock, which affects functions such as sleep patterns, blood pressure and eating habits.

The physics prize is to be announced Tuesday, followed by chemistry. The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will be named Friday and the economics laureate will be announced next Monday. No literature prize is being given this year.

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Heintz reported from Moscow.

The physics prize is to be announced Tuesday, followed by chemistry. The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will be named Friday and the economics laureate will be announced next Monday. No literature prize is being given this year.

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Heintz reported from Moscow.

Heintz reported from Moscow.

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The Nobel prize laureate in medicine or physiology 2018 is shown on the screen James P Allison, left, and Tasuku Honjo, during the presentation at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, Monday Oct. 1, 2018. The citation for this year's Nobel Prize in Medicine says the two honorees developed therapies for treating cancer. (Fredrik Sandberg/TT via AP) - The Associated Press


FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2015 file photo Dr. James P. Allison, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, poses for a photo in New York. James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo are jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file) - The Associated Press


This Sept. 17, 2018, photo shows Kyoto University Professor Tasuku Honjo in Kyoto, western Japan. James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo are jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. (Ryosuke Ozawa/Kyodo News via AP) - The Associated Press


FILE- In this April 17, 2015, file photo a national library employee shows the gold Nobel Prize medal awarded to the late novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in Bogota, Colombia. This year's round of Nobel Prizes begins Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, with the award for medicine or physiology, honoring research into the microscopic mechanisms of life and ways to fend off the invaders who cut it short. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara, File) - The Associated Press