Stockholm - James Allison of the University of Texas and Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University have won Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday for discoveries that help the body marshal its cellular troops to attack invading cancers. Their parallel work concerned proteins that act as brakes on the body's immune system.
The research, which has led to drugs that release the brakes on the immune system, constitutes "a landmark in our fight against cancer", said the Nobel Assembly of Sweden's Karolinska Institute, which selects the winners of the prestigious award.
The discoveries by Allison, 70, and Honjo, 76, "absolutely paved the way for a new approach to cancer treatment", Dr Jedd Wolchok, chief of the melanoma and immunotherapeutics service at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, told The Associated Press.
One cancer doctor said "an untold number of lives... have been saved by the science that they pioneered".