Apr 17, 2019

CRISPR has been used to treat US cancer patients for the first time

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

The gene-editing tool has been used in a trial to enhance the blood cells of two patients with cancer.

The trial: The experimental research, under way at the University of Pennsylvania, involves genetically altering a person’s T cells so that they attack and destroy cancer. A university spokesman confirmed it has treated the first patients, one with sarcoma and one with multiple myeloma.

Slow start: Plans for the pioneering study were first reported in 2016, but it was slow to get started. Chinese hospitals, meanwhile, have launched a score of similar efforts. Carl June, the famed University of Pennsylvania cancer doctor, has compared the Chinese lead in employing CRISPR to a genetic Sputnik.

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