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WILL IT LEAD TO A CURE? New CRISPR Cancer Treatment Tested In Humans For the First Time

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Our immune system includes a built-in defense against cancer: T cells. But T cells aren’t perfect, and cancer cells can learn to evade the body’s immune system. Using CRISPR, researchers engineered T cells to create personalized cancer treatments for 16 patients. Past studies have used the gene-editing technology CRISPR to remove genes from immune system cells to make them better at fighting cancer. Now, PACT Pharma and UCLA have used CRISPR to remove and add genes to these cells to help them recognize a patient’s specific tumor cells. “It is probably the most complicated therapy ever attempted in the clinic,” study co-author Antoni Ribas told Nature. “We’re trying to make an army out of a patient’s own T cells.” T cells are our immune systems’ built-in defense against cancer. Natural cancer killers: Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells. These cells grow and multiply through cell division, and when they get old or become damaged, they die and new cells replace them. Cancerous cells have genetic mutations that prevent them from dying when they should — instead, they multiply uncontrollably, potentially forming clumps or spreading to other parts of the body and crowding out healthy cells… (READ MORE)

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