If the greatest enemies of humankind in the 20th century were infectious diseases, cancer has clearly become the major foe in the 21st century. Acquired immunity holds the keys to overcoming both of these difficult medical challenges. Dr Honjo presents the fortuitous developments that he has experienced during his time as a researcher, leading to the discovery that PD-1 inhibition could be effective in treating cancer. This new breakthrough immunotherapy is being hailed as a ‘penicillin moment’ in cancer treatment.
Dr Tasuku Honjo is the 2016 Kyoto Prize Laureate for Basic Sciences. The Kyoto Prize is an international award to honour those who have contributed significantly to the scientific, cultural, and spiritual betterment of humankind. The Blavatnik School of Government is pleased to host the Kyoto Prize Laureates as part of the inaugural Kyoto Prize at Oxford events.