Nobel Prize Winner Dr James Allison on the Impact His Work Has Made

It has been good knowing that treatments he has had a hand in developing will give years of quality life to patients, where treatments only gave a few months before, explained James Allison, PhD, chair of the Department of Immunology, the Vivian L. Smith Distinguished Chair in Immunology, director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Research, executive director of the Immunotherapy Platform at MD Anderson Cancer Center, and 2018 Nobel Prize cowinner in Medicine.

What is it like knowing that treatments based on your work are making real differences in the lives of people who have cancer?
One of the things that I’ve always admired of oncologists is that in certain cancer types they’re going to fail. They were always going to fail. I did not understand really how you can emotionally deal with it when you’re just trying to extend life by a few months or palliative medicine or something like that. It just takes such courage to do that. And one of the things that I feel very good about is that these new therapies that I’ve had a part in developing actually gives hope both to the patients and to the doctors.

People have told me that in their clinics, now, they don’t feel like everybody is going to die. Certain fraction of them we’re going to be able to, if not cure—a dangerous word to use—but at least give years, years of quality life to follow.
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