For the first time in the United States, the gene editing tool known as CRISPR has been employed to fight cancer, doctors reported Wednesday.
So far, CRISPR has only been tried in three patients, two with multiple myeloma and one with a sarcoma. All had tried standard treatments, to no avail. With CRISPR, doctors extracted immune system cells from each patient and altered those cells genetically to help them spot and battle cancer cells. Side effects were minimal, the Associated Press reported.
“It’s the most complicated genetic, cellular engineering that’s been attempted so far,”Dr. Edward Stadtmauer,
Two to three months later, one patient’s cancer has progressed and one is stable. The third patient was treated recently, so it is too soon to tell if it worked. Fifteen more patients will get the treatment, to test safety and efficacy, the wire service reported.