From the looks of it, Chinese researchers are to go ahead with the very first CRISPR experiment in human beings.
While the Americans have already approved of a CRISPR trial on human beings, the Chinese seem to have beat them at their own game. A group of scientists from China are to begin trials on the efficiency of transformed cells for a lung cancer cure. Such patients were selected who had failed to be cured by all forms of treatment, be it radiation therapy, chemotherapy or other palliative measures.
The researchers want to take T cells (white blood cells) from patients via the CRISPR-Cas9 methodology, according to Nature. This will edit the PD-1 gene. The PD-1 gene is responsible for the immune behavior of the T cells and does not allow them to attack the normal and healthy cells of the human body.
The samples will then be cultured in the lab and later on re-introduced into the patients’ bodies. It is hoped that they will target the cancer. A biotechnological firm will arrange for validating these samples before they are pumped back into the patients’ bloodstream.
It was suggested that the T cells be taken from the tumor, yet later on it was decided that this was not appropriate. One of the scientists was worried lest the cells provoke an immune reaction that was excessive in nature.
This kind of chain reaction would harm healthy cells which was something no one wanted. Things are being taken slowly and steadily for the time being.
A group of 10 patients are being tested right now. These patients will be closely monitored to see any side effects of the procedure that they may suffer from during the course of the treatment.
Chinese scientists were the original pioneers who used CRISPR editing techniques to repair a gene that caused a deadly blood disorder in embryos.
Don't Miss: Sam's Club Black Friday 2016 Details
However, they were forced to throw all that research into the rubbish heap towards the end of the experiment for various reasons. One of these reasons was that this approach only seemed to work on half of the embryos.