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CRISPR gene-editing tested in a person for the first time, treating aggressive lung cancer

CRISPR gene-editing tested in a person for the first time, treating aggressive lung cancer

'A Chinese group has become the first to inject a person with cells that contain genes edited using the revolutionary CRISPR–Cas9 technique.

On 28 October, a team led by oncologist Lu You at Sichuan University in Chengdu delivered the modified cells into a patient with aggressive lung cancer as part of a clinical trial at the West China Hospital, also in Chengdu.

Earlier clinical trials using cells edited with a different technique have excited clinicians. The introduction of CRISPR, which is simpler and more efficient than other techniques, will probably accelerate the race to get gene-edited cells into the clinic across the world, says Carl June, who specializes in immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and led one of the earlier studies.

I think this is going to trigger ‘Sputnik 2.0’, a biomedical duel on progress between China and the United States, which is important since competition usually improves the end product,” he says.'

Carl June commenced CAR-T research, curing CLL patients that had run out of options in the initial human trial.


1 Reply

Hi Neil,

This is a game changing technology but not likely for CLL. I have been following the CRISPR research for ~three years now and recently asked research associates at OSU labs if they saw any scenario in which CRISPR could be used? Short answer is no.

As you probably already know the heterogeneity of CLL is not a good model for this technology. Perhaps if a specific stem cell defect is found CRISPR might have a role but until then .... All speculation aside it is pretty cool and fraught with ethical implications for its use.



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