The first U.S. trial of CRISPR in humans has begun, NPR reported Tuesday. Two patients are currently being treated as part of a University of Pennsylvania study. Per NPR, both have difficult-to-treat forms of cancer and both have relapsed after regular treatments. As part of the trial, researchers are taking immune cells from the patients’ own bodies and editing them with CRISPR before putting them back in. The hope is that these edited cells will be better at identifying and attacking the cancer than their unaltered counterparts. According to the U.S. government clinical trial registry, the researchers are hoping to enroll 18 people in their study. But it’s not certain yet whether they’ll be approved for that many subjects, reports Jon Fingas for Engadget. Continue reading CRISPR is now being used on humans in the U.S.
In recent years, scientists have been finding new ways to treat cancer outside of the chemotherapy and surgery combination. One technique, called immunotherapy, has showed promising results by reprogramming the patient’s immune system to attack tumors. Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle tested a version of immunotherapy on patients who had late-stage leukemia and lymphoma that had exhausted other treatment options—some weren’t expected to survive the experiment.