Scientists in the US have attempted to use a gene editing tool for cancer treatment. The tool, known as CRISPR, can fight against cancer cells and has generated fresh hope in oncology. Results of using CRISPR have been favourable for three patients so far. However, doctors are still unsure if its usage could increase the rate of survival. The scientists gathered immune system cells from the blood of patients, and subjected them to genetic alteration. The aim of this experiment was to drive immune system cells to identify and fight cancer. Furthermore, use of immune system cells has minimal side effects on the individual.
Distinction of Methodology
The researchers used distinct techniques to delete three genes from the immune system cells. This helped in enhancing the capability of immune system cells to attack diseases. The three genes believed to hinder the anti-disease action of cells. The researchers introduced a fourth gene that could help in attacking the disease. The researchers assert that this was amongst the most complicated cellular engineering experiments attempted in the US. Furthermore, the success of the attempt is suggestive of their ability to conduct genetic modifications.
Anticipating a Brighter Future
The researchers intend to test their findings on a sample of 15 cancer patients. They have already tested the model on three of the patients. While on of them saw worsening of cancer, the second one remained stable. The third has been tested too recently to know its impact on her. Despite the challenges in gene editing, scientists are positive about the success of the new model. Several cell therapies for blood cancer have fared well in treating patients. Scientists believe that the new model can be combined with such therapies to cure more patients.