De­spite progress, can­cer won’t be wiped out: No­bel lau­re­ates

The Korea Times - - PEOPLE -

STOCK­HOLM (AP) — The win­ners of this year’s No­bel Prize for Medicine say they ex­pect sub­stan­tial ad­vances to­ward treat­ing can­cer in the next sev­eral decades, although it is un­likely the dis­ease could be erad­i­cated.

James Al­li­son of the United States and Ta­suku Honjo of Japan made the as­sess­ments at a Thurs­day news con­fer­ence ahead of re­ceiv­ing the 9 mil­lion-kro­nor ($999,000) prize.

They were named win­ners of the prize in Oc­to­ber for their work in im­munother­apy — ac­ti­vat­ing the body’s nat­u­ral de­fense sys­tem to fight tu­mors.

“Soon we’ll get close with some can­cers,” Al­li­son said, cit­ing progress against some forms in­clud­ing melanoma. But, he said, “the world will never be can­cer-free.”

Honjo said he ex­pects that im­munother­apy will even­tu­ally be used against most can­cers, of­ten in com­bi­na­tion with ra­di­a­tion or chemo­ther­apy, and that can­cer can ef­fec­tively be stalled “even if we can­not com­pletely elim­i­nate the tu­mor, if we can sur­vive with some tu­mor.”


The 2018 No­bel lau­re­ates in Phys­i­ol­ogy or Medicine, Ta­suko Honjo, left, and James P. Al­li­son at­tend a press con­fer­ence at the Karolin­ska In­sti­tutet, Stock­holm, Swe­den, Thurs­day.

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