Home Bratislava Medical Journal 2019 Bratislava Medical Journal Vol.120, No.1, p.15–18, 2019

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Published Monthly, in English
Founded: 1919
ISSN 0006-9248
(E)ISSN 1336-0345
 

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Bratislava Medical Journal Vol.120, No.1, p.15–18, 2019

Title: New principles of cancer therapy give new hope for oncological patients
Author: M. Bernadic Jr, R. Duchon, R. Aziri, B. Mladosievicova

Abstract: The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2018 was awarded jointly to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo „for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation“. A number of therapeutic approaches are available for cancer treatment, including surgery, radiation, and other strategies, some of which have been awarded previous Nobel Prizes. These include methods for hormone treatment for prostate cancer (Huggins, 1966), chemotherapy (Elion and Hitchins, 1988), and bone marrow transplantation for leukemia (Thomas, 1990). Many scientists engaged in intense basic research and uncovered fundamental mechanisms regulating immunity and also showed how the immune system can recognize cancer cells. T-cells were shown to have receptors that bind to structures recognized as non-self and such interactions trigger the immune system to engage in defense. However, additional proteins acting as T-cell accelerators are also required to trigger a full-blown immune response. Many scientists contributed to this important basic research and identified other proteins that function as brakes on the T-cells, inhibiting immune activation. This intricate balance between the accelerators and inhibitors is essential for a tight control. New strategy was developed into a therapy for humans. Promising results soon emerged from several groups, and in 2010 an important clinical study showed striking effects in patients with advanced melanoma. In several patients, signs of remaining cancer disappeared. The results were dramatic, leading to long-term remission and possible cure in several patients with metastatic cancer, a condition that had previously been considered essentially untreatable. Such remarkable results had never been seen in this patient group before (Fig. 2, Ref. 12).

Keywords: Nobel Prize, physiology, medicine, immune system, inhibition, cancer therapy
Published online: 21-Jan-2019
Year: 2019, Volume: 120, Issue: 1 Page From: 15, Page To: 18
doi:10.4149/BLL_2019_002


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