Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
United States Science

US Doctors Plan To Treat Cancer Patients Using CRISPR (technologyreview.com) 53

An anonymous reader shares a report: The first human test in the U.S. involving the gene-editing tool CRISPR could begin at any time and will employ the DNA cutting technique in a bid to battle deadly cancers. Doctors at the University of Pennsylvania say they will use CRISPR to modify human immune cells so that they become expert cancer killers, according to plans posted this week to a directory of ongoing clinical trials. The study will enroll up to 18 patients fighting three different types of cancer -- multiple myeloma, sarcoma, and melanoma -- in what could become the first medical use of CRISPR outside China, where similar studies have been under way. An advisory group to the National Institutes of Health initially gave a green light to the Penn researchers in June 2016, but until now it was not known whether the trial would proceed.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

US Doctors Plan To Treat Cancer Patients Using CRISPR

Comments Filter:
  • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by Scarred Intellect ( 1648867 ) on Thursday January 18, 2018 @10:23AM (#55952479) Homepage Journal
    XKCD [xkcd.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Could this also lead to autoimmune diseases, since the immune system is being enhanced to more effectively target the body's own cells. While it's true that the immune system does target cancer cells, this seems like something that could lead to side effects.

    • by kelemvor4 ( 1980226 ) on Thursday January 18, 2018 @10:35AM (#55952547)

      Could this also lead to autoimmune diseases, since the immune system is being enhanced to more effectively target the body's own cells. While it's true that the immune system does target cancer cells, this seems like something that could lead to side effects.

      I would hazard a guess that these folks are almost certainly going to die from the cancer anyway... Sometimes, you take any risk you can.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Every treatment has potential side effects, this is a safety arm study so yeah there could be poor outcomes. It will be refined over time. The cancer is probably very advanced in these patients so the risk is worth it.

    • by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Thursday January 18, 2018 @12:24PM (#55953203)

      It could. But the idea is to look at the cancer cells and the proteins they express. Find what they express that's DIFFERENT than normal cells, then go after that.

      Problems are less autoimmunity, more getting all of the cancer and hitting a moving target. Cancer cells don't die naturally in response to mutations, and their replication machinery is somewhat screwed up, making them more prone to mutations. Tumors aren't composed of a single cell type, but many different mutant types, which might express different proteins. Additionally, since they mutate, a cell might express a protein today, but its progeny tomorrow may not.

      For another poster -- antibodies don't die. Antibodies aren't living -- they're protein structures designed to "tag" foreign and damaged cells. They're produced by B-cells, which are living organisms.

      Source: basic biochem...

  • Believe the title was " I am Legend "

    Short version was they genetically engineered the measles virus to cure cancer.

    It didn't quite go to plan.

  • This sounds like an awesome way to use CRISPR technology, and synergistically it'll probably help advance the further development of CRISPR, so I applaud the idea -- but don't hold your breath waiting for it, there'll have to be quite a bit of extensive testing done to ensure we don't create more problems with this than we solve; don't need to be creating genetic diseases in people trying to cure their cancer.

I go on working for the same reason a hen goes on laying eggs. -- H.L. Mencken

Working...