CRISPR-Edited Cells for Cancer Therapy Safe in Humans: Trial

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CRISPR-Edited Cells for Cancer Therapy Safe in Humans: Trial

  Immune cells altered by CRISPR are safe to use in cancer patients, according to results of a clinical trial reported on February 6th in Science. While the study aimed to examine safety only, an initial look at efficacy indicates that the intervention was not a cure.
 
  CRISPR has been touted as a revolutionary tool that has the potential to cure diseases or turn a person's own T cells into potent cancer killers. And so researchers wanted to know: "Can CRISPR live up to its hype?"study coauthor Carl June, a cancer researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, tells HealthDay News.
 
  June and his colleagues developed another powerful tool to ramp up T cells' ability to attack cancer cells, the chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR, T cell treatment. In this technique, a person's T cells are extracted and "reprogrammed" to produce an artificial T cell receptor that can attach to cancer cells that produce a specific protein on their surface, marking them for destruction. Once a person's T cells are reprogrammed, they are reinfused into the body.
 
  In the new study, June and his colleagues used the CAR T technique and then, before reinfusing the cells, used CRISPR to delete three genes from the cells' DNA. The team deleted two genes that interrupt the efficacy of T cells' receptors at targeting cancer and one that encodes the PD1 protein, which puts the brakes on the cells' immune response. Knocking out the two genes related to the T cell receptor was also theorized to boost the expression of a lentiviral-inserted gene that produces the CAR, the cancer-targeting T cell receptor called NY-ESO-1. The team wanted to see if the modified T cells survived in the body and targeted cancer cells better than cells only reprogrammed with CAR T treatment.
 
  The team planned to test the combined CAR T–CRISPR technique in four patients. One, a woman in her 30s with sarcoma, died before her edited cells were ready for infusion. The other three—two woman with multiple myeloma and a man with sarcoma, all in their 60s—underwent the treatment. Bloodwork from the patients taken after treatment showed the CRISPR-edited cells circulated in the body for at least nine months. That’s longer than cells edited with CAR T alone, which in similar studies last only two months. The doubly treated T cells also seemed better at identifying and killing cancer cells compared to only CAR T cells.
 
  One concern with CRISPR is "off-target" effects, in which the wrong DNA is unintentionally edited. This did happen, the researchers found, but the number of cells with unintended changes was minimal and they didn't last too long in the body. In other words, the clinical trial was a success, showing CRISPR can be used together with CAR T to target cancer cells, the researchers report.
 
  "This is a Rubicon that has been decisively crossed," Fyodor Urnov, a genome editor at the University of California, Berkeley, who was not involved in the study, tells Science. It is the first time this type of study has been done in the United States, he says, and it answers "questions that have frankly haunted the field."
 
  It is exciting technology, Catherine Diefenbach, an associate professor at NYU Langone Health's Perlmutter Cancer Center in New York City who was not involved with the study, tells HealthDay. "This is a new way of engineering T cells to recognize tumor cells, but all they've shown here is that they can infuse these cells into patients, and no one got hurt."
 
  The effects on the patients' cancers was only mediocre. The man' s sarcoma tumor shrank, for example, but his cancer eventually progressed and so did the women' s cancers. One has died since receiving the treatment.
 
  "It wasn't like you turned off those genes and those T cells started doing things that were amazing,"Antoni Ribas, an oncologist at University of California, Los Angeles, who was not involved in the study, tells Science. There's work to be done to make the treatment more effective. But, going forward, giving patients CRISPR-edited cells is "going to be easier—because they did it first."
Ubigene Biosciences is co-founded by biological academics and elites from China, the United States, and France. We are located in Guangzhou Science City, which serves as a global center for high technology and innovation. Ubigene Biosciences has 1000㎡ office areas and laboratories, involving genome editing, cell biology technology, and zebrafish research. We provide products and services for plasmids, viruses, cells, and zebrafish. We aim to provide customers with better gene-editing tools for cell or animal research.

We developed CRISPR-U™ and CRISPR-B™ (based on CRISPR/Cas9 technology) which is more efficient than general CRISPR/Cas9 in double-strand breaking, CRISPR-U™ and CRISPR-B™ can greatly improve the efficiency of homologous recombination, easily achieve knockout (KO), point mutation (PM) and knockin (KI) in vitro and in vivo. 

Genome Editing Platform
——Focusing on the Application of CRISPR-U™ and CRISPR-B™ Gene Editing Technology
1. Provides various types of gene-editing vectors for different species.2. Provides different virus packaging services, including lentiviruses, adenoviruses and adeno-associated viruses.3. Provides high-quality services for gene knockout, point mutation and knockin cell lines. 

Cell Biology Platform
——Focusing on primary cell
1. Provides over 400 types of primary cells.2. Provides culture strategies and related products for different cell types.3. Provides cell biology-related services such as cell isolation, extraction and validation.