• First #CRISPR clinical trial gets green light from US panel : Nature News & Comment
    http://www.nature.com/news/first-crispr-clinical-trial-gets-green-light-from-us-panel-1.20137

    CRISPR, the genome-editing technology that has taken biomedical science by storm, is finally nearing human trials.

    On 21 June, an advisory committee at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) approved a proposal to use CRISPR–Cas9 to help augment #cancer therapies that rely on enlisting a patient’s T cells, a type of immune cell.

    Cell therapies [for cancer] are so promising but the majority of people who get these therapies have a disease that relapses,” says study leader Edward Stadtmauer, a physician at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Gene editing could improve such treatments and eliminate some of their vulnerabilities to cancer and the body’s immune system, he says.
    […]
    The researchers will remove T cells from 18 patients with several types of cancers and perform three CRISPR edits on them. One edit will insert a gene for a protein engineered to detect cancer cells and instruct the T cells to target them, and a second edit removes a natural T-cell protein that could interfere with this process. The third is defensive: it will remove the gene for a protein that identifies the T cells as immune cells and prevent the cancer cells from disabling them. The researchers will then infuse the edited cells back into the patient.