Research towards a cure uses the patient’s own immune system to attack the disease.
Cancer is a b&*ch. It’s one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and its guaranteed cure still eludes us. New advancements in cancer research are always happening and this year, the Noble Prize committee acknowledged work being done by two individuals to help find us a cure.
America’s James Allison and Japan’s Tasuku Honjo were awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Their work, though separate, includes developing new ways to treat cancer that involves harnessing the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells, which is said to revolutionize the way cancer treatment is approached.
“I’m a basic scientist. I did not get into these studies to try to cure cancer. I got into them because I wanted to know how T cells work,” Allison said.
T cells form part of the human immune system, and people like Allison believe that they may play a part in protecting the body from the spread of cancer.
A new cancer treatment drug going by the brand name Yervoy has become the first drug to extend the life of patients fighting late-stage skin cancer is the result of Allison’s work.
It marks the 108th time the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded since 1901.
In 2017, Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W. Young were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their work in discovering the molecular mechanisms that control our circadian rhythms, something that affects our daily sleep and biological clock.