Human CRISPR Trials To Begin Soon
Published on January 20, 2018
The first U.S. human trial using CRISPR to treat disease could kick off any day now. The trial is led by the University of Pennsylvania. It will use the gene-editing tool to modify immune cells, prompting them to attack three different types of cancer. A spokesperson from Penn Medicine confirmed to Gizmodo that trial preparations are in the final stages. It did not specify when exactly it will start. The study will enroll as many as 18 patients with myeloma, sarcoma, and melanoma cancers. Researchers will remove blood cells from the patients’ bodies. They will then use CRISPR to delete two genes in T cells. T cells are the soldiers of the immune system that seek and destroy threats inside the body. The deleted genes should reprogram the T cells to better find and attack cancer. The blood cells will then be infused back into the patient.