First Tang Prize recipients win Nobel Prize award

2018/10/01 23:31:41 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Photo courtesy of Tang Prize Foundation

Photo courtesy of Tang Prize Foundation

Taipei, Oct. 1 (CNA) Two immunologists who were awarded the first Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science in 2014 have won the 2018 Nobel Prize in medicine for their research that has contributed to the treatment of cancer.

The Tang Prize was established by Samuel Yin (尹衍樑), a Taiwanese entrepreneur and philanthropist, in December 2012.

The duo, James Allison of the United States and Tasuku Honjo of Japan, were honored for their research into how the body's natural defenses can fight cancer, the Tang Prize Foundation (TPF) said in a statement Monday.

Their research showed how a patient's own immune system could be helped to fight cancer by removing a protein that can stop the body's natural defenses from killing cancer cells, the statement said.

In 1995, Allison was one of the scientists who identified the ligand CTLA-4 as an inhibitory receptor on T-cells, a type of white blood cell that fights disease, the statement said.

Honjo discovered the protein ligand PD-1 in 1992, which also acts as a brake on unleashing immune cells to attack tumors, according to the statement.

Allison and Honjo will receive their prize at a ceremony in Stockholm on Dec. 10 and share a prize of nine million Swedish kronor (US$1 million).

(By William Yen)
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