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Tasuku Honjo



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    PL 03 - Immunology in Lung Cancer Update 2017 (ID 584)

    • Event: WCLC 2017
    • Type: Plenary Session
    • Track: Immunology and Immunotherapy
    • Presentations: 1
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      PL 03.01 - Serendipities of Acquired Immunity (ID 7834)

      08:15 - 09:45  |  Presenting Author(s): Tasuku Honjo

      • Abstract
      • Presentation
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      Abstract:
      Summary of the Lecture “Serendipities of acquired immunity” In 1992, we started working on PD-1 and found that this acts as a brake in the immune system. Then, in 2002, we discovered that PD-1 inhibition could be effective in treating cancer in animal models. After 22 years of study, this idea has borne fruit in a new, breakthrough immunotherapy that is being hailed as a 'penicillin moment' in cancer treatment. I believe that, just as a number of antibiotics developed in the wake of the discovery of penicillin now protect humans against threats of infectious diseases, this discovery will play a leading role in advancement of cancer immunotherapy so that in the future the fear of dying from cancer will cease to exist. Through evolution, vertebrate animals have developed immunity against infection by microorganisms. In the process, they incidentally acquired a sophisticated system for diversifying genomic information by combining gene fragments. It was doubly fortunate that the success in cancer treatment via PD-1 inhibition brought the realization that immunity, a “weapon” against infectious diseases, could also serve as a “shield” against cancer. It has been said that, whereas humankind’s greatest enemies in the 20th century were infectious diseases, cancer is the major foe in the 21st century. It is a pleasant surprise to discover that the acquired immunity system holds the keys to overcoming both of these difficult medical challenges.

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