Dr. James P Allison & Dr. Tasuku Honjo Awarded 2018 Nobel Prize In Physiology and Medicine


Episode Details

Dr. James P. Allison was recently awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for the “discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.” This discovery has been used to design cancer treatments that profoundly extend the lives of many cancer patients, with some experiencing a cure.

From PCF:

The Prostate Cancer Foundation was an early funder of Dr. Allison’s work on immunotherapy for prostate cancer, following in our tradition of funding the most promising research in cancer. Since then, Allison’s work has helped thousands of patients and catapulted the whole field of immunotherapy and precision medicine.

Born in Alice, Texas in 1948, Dr. Allison is the Chair of the Department of Immunology, the Vivian L. Smith Distinguished Chair in Immunology, Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Research, and the Executive Director of the Immunotherapy Platform at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

We are thrilled to see Jim’s work so notably recognized. In 1997, Dr. Howard Soule, PCF Chief Science Officer, met with Dr. Allison and encouraged him to consider working in the field of prostate cancer. He has spent a distinguished career studying the regulation of T cell activation and is a pioneer in the development of cancer immunotherapy.

PCF philanthropy provided Dr. Allison with $400,000 in initial funding, followed by $2 million over the following decade. With PCF funds, Dr. Allison and colleagues tested anti-CTLA4 therapy in prostate cancer models and were able to demonstrate effectiveness in cancer. The result of this work is an immunotherapy medication ipilimumab, an FDA approved medication for many cancers.

Among many honors, he is a member of the National Academies of Science and Medicine and received the Lasker-Debakey Clinical Medical Research award in 2015 among numerous other awards. His current work seeks to improve immune checkpoint blockade therapies currently used by clinicians and to identify new targets that unleash the immune system in order to eradicate cancer.

Dr. Allison is a world-renowned researcher and esteemed scientific leader, and his extraordinary pioneering advancement of scientific discovery and its translation to the clinic in the field of immunotherapy have been invaluable to the mission of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. You can read more on how Dr. Allison created an entirely new principle in the field of immunotherapy to solve one of humanity’s greatest health challenges in the official announcement.

Dr. James P Allison & Dr. Tasuku Honjo Awarded 2018 Nobel Prize In Physiology and Medicine
Picture of Kaleb Nation

Kaleb Nation

Kaleb Nation is an author, content creator, and executive producer of Ask Dr. Drew.
All Posts


Get alerts from Dr. Drew about important guests, upcoming events, and when to call in to the show.

For text alerts, msg and data rates may apply