Will CRISPR Give us a New Cancer Treatment?

Our DNA and RNA are both full of various proteins that each have roles that in some way affect our health when carried out.  Some are involved in regulating how cells grow and divide, and this includes cancer cells. A recent study carried out by researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center involved using the CRISPR gene editing technique in which to wipe out one of the key proteins that allow the accelerated growth of cancer cells.  Researchers are hopeful the results from this study will allow experts to devise a therapy based on CRISPR in which to treat the disease.

Cancer can take hold in many forms, but in all cancer cases there is one thing in common and that is that all types spread via uncontrollable cell growth.  In order to try and stop this, the researchers took a protein that was vital in the dividing process (in this case Tudor-SN) and isolated it. Then, using the newly discovered CRISPR-Cas9, the researchers edited out this protein from the cells. This meant the cells could no longer divide at the same accelerated rate.

The research proves how this type of treatment could be used for future cancer patients in order to slow down or deplete the disease completely. While studies have only been carried out on kidney and cervical cancer cells in a lab currently, so more tests will need to be done on various other types of cancer cells before the researchers are able to test the technique on humans. But, at least there is hope that a new, successful cancer treatment could be coming available in the near future.

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