CRISPR in Human Trial

CRISPR in Human TrialCRISPR in Human Trial

The genome-editing technology CRISPR is finally nearing human trials. On June 21, 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. “Gene editing could improve such treatments and eliminate some of their vulnerabilities to cancer and the body’s immune system,” says study leader Edward Stadtmauer, a physician at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, the website reported. This first trial is small and designed to test whether CRISPR is safe for use in people, rather than whether it effectively treats cancer or not. It will be funded by a $250-million immunotherapy foundation formed in April by former Facebook president Sean Parker. Researchers will remove T cells from 18 patients with several types of cancers and perform three CRISPR edits on them.