In 30 years, will immunotherapy defeat cancer?


(ANSA) – All forms of tumors can be defeated in 30 years, with the immunotherapythat is, by using immune system defenses as weapons against sick cells. It was confirmed in Stockholm by the 2018 Nobel Prize winner in Medicine, Tasuku Honjo of the University of Tokyo, who shared the award with American James P. Allison of the Anderson Center. Cancer (Texas)

"I'm sure that by 2050 all forms of cancer can be defeated with immunotherapy"Honjo said while meeting with the press, along with Allison at the Karolinska Institute," If we can not eliminate all tumors, we can even block them, preventing their continued growth, "Honjo said.

The meeting between Allison and Honjo is the second between the two pioneers of immunotherapy. The first was in 1982 in Texas, when Honjo proposed that his colleague collaborate in cancer research. "Since then, we have not seen each other yet, there has never been a competition between us: our investigations have advanced in a complementary way," said the scientist.

Each on its own and following different paths, the two researchers laid the groundwork for attacking the tumors with a new weapon, the fourth available today after surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Both looked at the cells of the immune system for the proteins used by the tumors to fool them and continue to calm down. In the early 1990s, Allison discovered the first, called CTLA-4, on the surface of T lymphocytes; in the same period and in the same cells, Honjo found the PD1 protein. And they have become the most promising new weapons against cancer.

"It's a path we opened 20 years ago and now a large number of people around the world work in the field of immunotherapy," he said. "It's a very promising field, but even for a while, immunotherapy should be combined with radiotherapy and chemotherapy," added the scientists, who are convinced that "the immune system is the key to the battle against cancer."


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