Cancer Current Affairs
The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was jointly awarded to two immunologists James P. Allison (US) and Tasuku Honjo (Japan) for their discovery of Immune checkpoint therapy i.e. cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation. It was announced by Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute.
Significance of their discovery
Both immunologists had figured out entirely new principle for cancer therapy by stimulating the ability of immune system to attack tumour or cance cells more quickly, unlike traditional forms of cancer treatment that directly target cancer cells. Their discovery has led to treatments targeting proteins made by some immune system cells that act as brake on body’s natural defences killing cancer cells. This therapy is landmark in fight against cancer and has revolutionised cancer treatment. It also has fundamentally changed way to manage cancer.
About Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
The Nobel award for physiology or medicine is given to persons whose discoveries have significantly enhanced understanding of life or practice of medicine. The winners are chosen by Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute. The prestigious award carries prize money of 8 million Swedish kroner (US $1.1 million). Medicine is first of the Nobel Prizes awarded each year. It is one of five Nobel Prizes established by Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite in 1895 in his will. German physiologist Emil von Behring was first recipient of this award in 1901 for his work on serum therapy and development of vaccine against diphtheria. Gerty Cori was first woman to receive Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1947 for her role in elucidating metabolism of glucose.
The World Cancer Day (WCD) is observed every year on 4 February across the world to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. Its primary goal is to reduce the illness and related deaths by 2020.
The theme (tagline) for this year is “We can. I can”. It reflects on what everyone can do to raise awareness of cancer and asks to take pledge and action in fight against cancer. “We can. I can” is special three-year campaign for the World Cancer Day from year 2016 to 2018. It seeks to explore how everyone- as individuals or as a collective – can do their part to reduce the burden of cancer globally.
The WCD was instituted by Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) in 2008 by formally writing goals of the World Cancer Declaration. The primary goal of observing the day is to reduce illness and death caused by it by 2020. The origin of day can be traced to 2000 at first World Summit Against Cancer, which was held in Paris, France.
It is Geneva based leading international non-governmental organisation (NGO) founded in 1933. Its purpose is to help the global health community to accelerate the fight against cancer. It has a membership of over 800 organisations spread across 155 countries.