CRISPR-based cancer therapy passes first test with ‘encouraging’ results

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IV bags of CRISPR-edited T cells are prepared for administering to a patient at the Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia. Image: Penn Medicine/AP

The powerful gene-editing technique known as CRISPR has raised a lot of hope in recent years for its potential to offer new ways to treat many diseases, including cancer. But until now, scientists have released very little information about results of tests in patients.

On [November 6], researchers revealed data from the first study involving U.S. cancer patients who received cells genetically modified with CRISPR.

The highly anticipated results, while quite preliminary, seem to be encouraging, scientists say.

The patients received infusions of about 100 million of their own immune system cells that had been removed from their bodies and were genetically modified in a lab.

Related article:  Gene editing most innovative agricultural development in 30 years, USDA senior scientist says

The patients were treated in January, April and August, with the first patient being followed for at least six months. The cells appear to be doing what scientists hoped they would do without producing any significant adverse effects, the researchers say.

The next step, they say, is to treat additional patients as part of a trial that will eventually involve 18 participants who have sarcoma, melanoma or myeloma.

Read full, original post: CRISPR Approach To Fighting Cancer Called ‘Promising’ In 1st Safety Test

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