Monday 27 May, 2019

The Latest: Former US president benefited from Nobel study

Tasuku Honjo (left) and James P. Allison have been jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018.

Tasuku Honjo (left) and James P. Allison have been jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018.

The Latest on the awarding of the Nobel Prizes (all times local):

1:05 p.m.

The research honoured with today's Nobel Prize in Medicine paid off for at least one very famous patient: former U.S. president Jimmy Carter.

He was diagnosed in 2015 with the skin cancer melanoma, which had spread to his brain. He was treated with a drug inspired by the research of new Nobel laureate Tasuku Honjo and announced in 2016 that he no longer needed treatment.

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12:40 p.m.

Nobel Prize winner Tasuku Honjo of Japan says what makes him most delighted is when he hears from patients who have recovered from serious illness because of his research.

The immunologist said Monday at a news conference at Kyoto University that he is honored and delighted by the award. He and James Allison of the University of Texas were jointly awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in medicine.

Honjo, 76, said he wants to continue his research to save more cancer patients. He thanked the colleagues, students and family who have supported him in his research for such a long time.

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12:20 p.m.

American Dr. James Allison says he's "honored and humbled" to receive this year's Nobel Prize in Medicine, for his discovery of how to release a protein that works as a brake on the human immune system, unleashing immune cells to attack tumors.

Allison says he didn't set out to study cancer, but to better "understand the biology of T cells, these incredible cells that travel our bodies and work to protect us."

That research has led to a treatment known as "immune checkpoint blockade," and Allison says he's been able to meet cancer survivors who are living proof of its power.

Allison takes care in his statement from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston to give credit to "a succession of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and colleagues at MD Anderson, the University of California, Berkeley, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center" who joined in the research.

Allison receives the prize jointly with Tasuku Honjo, 76, of Japan.

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12:05 p.m.

The two winners of this year's Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology made discoveries that "constitute a landmark in our fight against cancer," according to a statement from the Nobel Assembly of the Karolinska Institute that awarded the prize.

James Allison of the University of Texas and Tasuku Honjo of Japan's Kyoto University did parallel work to stimulate the body's immune system's ability to attack tumors.

Allison studied a protein that acts as a brake on the immune system and the potential of releasing that brake.

Honjo separately discovered a new protein on immune cells and eventually found that it also acts as a brake.

"Therapies based on his discovery proved to be strikingly effective in the fight against cancer," the assembly said in a statement.

Releasing the potential of immune cells to attack cancers joins other treatments including surgery, radiation and drugs.

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11:45 a.m.

The citation for this year's Nobel Prize in Medicine says the two honorees developed therapies for treating cancer.

American James Allison studied a protein that functions as a brake on the immune system.

He realized the potential of releasing the brake and unleashing immune cells to attack tumors. He developed this concept into a new approach for treating patients.

Tasuku Honjo of Japan "discovered a protein on immune cells and revealed that it also operates as a brake, but with a different mechanism of action. Therapies based on his discovery proved to be strikingly effective in the fight against cancer."

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11:30 a.m.

The Nobel Prize in Medicine has been jointly awarded to James Allison of the University of Texas and Tasuku Honjo of Japan's Kyoto University for discovering a form of cancer therapy.

The 9 million-kronor ($1.01 million) prize was announced Monday by the Nobel Assembly of Sweden's Karolinska Institute.

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6 a.m.

This year's Nobel Prize recipients will be revealed starting Monday with the prize for medicine or physiology.

The Nobel Assembly of the Karolinska Institute — 50 professors at the Stockholm facility — chooses the winner or winners of the prize honoring research into the microscopic mechanisms of life and ways to fend off invaders that cut it short. A maximum of three laureates are selected.

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. No literature prize is being given this year.

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