STOCKHOLM (AP) — The winners of this year's Nobel Prize for Medicine say they expect substantial advances toward treating cancer in the next several decades although they say it's unlikely the disease could be eradicated.

James Allison of the United States and Tasuku Honjo of Japan made the assessments at a Thursday news conference ahead of receiving the 9-million-kronor ($999,000) Nobel prize. They won the prize in October for their work in immunotherapy — activating the body's natural defense system to fight tumors.

Allison says "soon we'll get close with some cancers," citing progress against some forms including melanoma. But he says "the world will never be cancer-free."

Honjo said he expects that immunotherapy will eventually be used against most cancers, often in combination with radiation or chemotherapy.

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