University of Pennsylvania Using CRISPR to Treat Cancer

A U.S. gene-editing study using CRISPR, was approved as a cancer treatment at the University of Pennsylvania. Two cancer patients who relapsed after undergoing standard cancer treatment received treatment with CRISPR to date.

CRISPR is a technology that allows scientists to make precise modifications to DNA using targeted molecular tools. This revolutionary treatment will allow scientists to repair genetic defects by genetically modifying human cells. In the past, gene therapy would involve inserting new cells as treatment.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania will remove immune system cells from the patient, genetically modify the cells, and then insert the cells back into the patient to destroy the cancer cells.

While the CRISPR study at the University of Pennsylvania is in the clinical trial stage, researchers throughout the world expect gene editing to become a major breakthrough in the health care industry, with the power to cure various diseases.

The University of Pennsylvania is on the cutting edge of cancer research, just last year Penn scientists completed the first robot assisted spinal surgery. The scientist used a trans-oral robotics approach (TORS) to remove tumors, a groundbreaking procedure for cancer treatment happening here in Greater Philadelphia.