http://www.nature.com/news/crispr-gene-editing-tested-in-a-person-for-the-first-time-1.20988 A Chinese group has become the first to inject a person with cells that contain genes edited using the revolutionary CRISPR–Cas9 technique.
Oncologist Lu You at Sichuan University in Chengdu delivered the modified cells into a patient with aggressive lung cancer as part of a clinical trial at the West China Hospital, also in Chengdu.
Earlier clinical trials using cells edited with a different technique have excited clinicians. *First CRISPR clinical trial gets green light from US panel**
In March 2017, a group at Peking University in Beijing hopes to start three clinical trials using CRISPR against bladder, prostate and renal-cell cancers. Those trials do not yet have approval or funding. Lu’s trial received ethical approval from a hospital review board in July. Injections into participants were supposed to begin in August but the date was pushed back, Lu says, because culturing and amplifying the cells took longer than expected and then the team ran into China’s October holidays.
**Chinese scientists to pioneer first human CRISPR trial**
The researchers removed immune cells from the recipient’s blood and then disabled a gene in them using CRISPR–Cas9, which combines a DNA-cutting enzyme with a molecular guide that can be programmed to tell the enzyme precisely where to cut. The disabled gene codes for the protein PD-1, which normally puts the brakes on a cell’s immune response: cancers take advantage of that function to proliferate.
Then cultured the edited cells, increasing their number, and injected them back into the patient, who has metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer. The hope is that, without PD-1, the edited cells will attack and defeat the cancer.
Other oncologists are excited about CRISPR’s entry onto the cancer scene. Antibodies that neutralize PD-1 have successfully put lung cancer in check, boding well for a CRISPR-enabled attack on the protein.
The process of extracting, genetically modifying and multiplying cells is a huge undertaking and not very scalable Unless it shows a large gain in efficacy, it will be hard to justify moving forward doubts it will be superior to the use of antibodies, which can be expanded to unlimited quantities in the clinic.
Nature539,479(24 November 2016)doi:10.1038/nature.2016.20988 EN BLOGGERS KOMMENTAR : One should be cautious about the CRISPR–Cas9 technique. See Mehrishi and Risso's paper (10.4024/05ME16A.jbpc.16.01) Section 5.3 "…risks require caution with challenges ahead