In DepthBiomedicine

CRISPR takes on cancer

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Science  07 Feb 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6478, pp. 616
DOI: 10.1126/science.367.6478.616

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Summary

Launching a new chapter in the fast-moving cancer immunotherapy field, scientists have blended two cutting-edge approaches: CRISPR, which cuts DNA, and T cell therapy, in which sentries of the immune system are exploited to destroy tumors. Two women and one man, all in their 60s—one with sarcoma and two with the blood cancer multiple myeloma—received altered versions of their own cells last year, researchers report online in Science this week. For these pioneers, the benefits were limited: One has since died, and the disease has worsened in the others. But the clinical trial, which underwent years of regulatory scrutiny, wasn't designed to try to cure cancer, says Carl June, a cancer researcher at the University of Pennsylvania who co-led the work. Rather, its goal was to show that the strategy appeared safe.

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