#China leads #Cancer treatment with #CRISPR #gene-edited #TCells, 40% of the patients appear to have responded.#GeneEditing
Scientists extract T cells from the blood, then use CRISPR to knock out a #gene in the T cells known as PD-1. This engineering feat modifies the T cells so that they zero in on and attack the cancer cells, once they're infused back into each patient. The infusion will take at least an hour.
In contrast, only one CRISPR cancer study has been approved in the United States, and it's only just now starting to look for the first patient to treat.
Shaorong Deng gets an experimental treatment for cancer of the esophagus that uses his own immune system cells. They have been genetically modified with the gene-editing technique known as CRISPR.
Shaorong Deng is sitting up in bed at the Hangzhou Cancer Hospital waiting for his doctor. Thin and frail, the 53-year-old construction worker's coat drapes around his shoulders to protect against the chilly air.
Deng has advanced cancer of the esophagus, a common form of cancer in China. He went through radiation and chemotherapy, but the cancer kept spreading.
Now he's back at the hospital to get an experimental treatment. It involves using cells from his own immune system, known as T cells, after they have been taken out of his body and genetically altered in a lab by the gene-editing tool called CRISPR. "I consider myself very lucky," Deng says through an interpreter as a nurse finishes taking his blood pressure.
Just then, the door swings open, and the nurse rushes back in. She's cradling a clear plastic pouch filled with yellowish fluid. She hangs the pouch above Deng's bed, attaches one end of an intravenous tube to the bottom, and slides a long needle at the other end into Deng's arm. "This is the T-cell infusion," says Dr. Shixiu Wu, who's president of the cancer hospital in Hangzhou, a little over 100 miles southwest of Shanghai. "Now it begins — getting the immune cell therapy." Deng stares at the IV as millions of genetically modified immune system cells slowly drip into his body. The infusion will take at least an hour. "I can only hope