Chinese Scientists Put CRISPR-Edited Cells In Patient For First Time

A lung cancer patient in China has become the first human on Earth to receive an injection of cells modified with CRISPR, a gene editing tool. Oncologists at Sichuan University used the CRISPR cells in the patient on October 28 and it appears the first injection didn't pose any immediate health issues.

The patient will receive another round of CRISPR-edited cells and nine additional patients are scheduled to undergo the treatment in the future. Monitoring will occur for at least six months to "determine whether the injections are causing serious adverse effects."

Using CRISPR, the cells were modified to no longer have active PD-1 proteins, which could boost the cellular immune response enough to fight the cancer.

The hope is, without PD-1, the edited cells will attack and defeat the cancer, - Nature article

Scaling problems may keep this technology from being a first or second-line cancer treatment unless a high efficacy level is repeatedly shown.