Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Cancer cells engineered with CRISPR slay their own kin

Laurel Hamers

In a study done with mice, gene editing has been shown to trick cancer cells into attacking themselves. They were able to make the tumor cells secrete a protein that triggers a death switch in resident tumor cells and then self-destruct on their own. Although this isn't the first study done to fight cancer with cancer,  this study uses a gene-editing technique  called CRISPR/Cas9 to manipulate the offensive-line cells which gives them the ability to self-destruct. 
Researchers had to try multiple approaches to get this to work, however the engineered cells reduced the size of tumors in mice compared to the mice that didn't get the treatment and those who got the treatment lived longer. They still have far to go with this research before it can be used in a clinical setting and if they were able to give someone's foreign cells to a patient, that could lead to rejection and other complications. gene-edited cancer cells


related article: http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/10/449/eaao3240

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