Science News

Check it Before You Wreck it: The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

The Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for 2018 was awarded to Dr. James P. Allison and Dr. Tasuku Honjo for making breakthrough discoveries on strategies for treating cancer by preventing the “ignorance” of tumors by the immune system. Developing cancer cells are normally detected by surveying white blood cells, or T-lymphocytes, that recognize the tumor progenitors as abnormal and target the abnormal cells for destruction. However, as a tumor develops, the cancer cells of the tumor begin to send inhibitory signals to immune cells, causing them to “ignore” the growing tumor until it is virtually invisible to the immune system.