CRISPR enhances cancer immunotherapy

Source: the Source – March 5, 2018

Last year, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first cellular immunotherapies to treat cancer. These therapies involve collecting a patient’s own immune cells — called T cells — and supercharging them to home in on and attack specific blood cancers, such as hard-to-treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

But so far, these T cell immunotherapies — called CAR-T cells — can’t be used if the T cells themselves are cancerous. Even though supercharged T cells can kill cancerous T cells, they also can kill each other because they resemble one another so closely.

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis now have used the gene-editing technology CRISPR to engineer human T cells that can attack human T cell cancers without succumbing to friendly fire.

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