Researchers at Tel Aviv University have shown that the CRISPR / Cas9 system is very effective in treating metastatic tumors, which is another step forward in the search for a cure for cancer.
Researchers have developed a tool that detects cancer cells and destroys them by genetic manipulation. With the CRiSPR-LNP system, messenger RNA fits into the cancer cell DNA and encodes the Cas9 enzyme, leading the cancer cell to self-destruction.
The study was funded by the ICRF (Israel Cancer Research Foundation) and published in Science Advances.
“This is the first study in the world to prove that the CRISPR genomic editing system can be used to treat cancer in living organisms,” said the study’s co-author, Dan. “We must emphasize that this is not chemotherapy. No side effects will be created and thus, the destroyed cancer cells will never be activated.”
For the study, scientists selected two types of tumors, glioblastoma and ovarian cancer. Both are very aggressive diseases, after which patients rarely live for more than 15 months. In the above study on mice, the scientists found that single treatment doubled the lifespan of mice with glioblastoma, while in mice with ovarian cancer, the survival rate increased by 80%.
Researchers plan to conduct similar clinical trials on other types of tumors in the future. And the CRISPR system carries enormous potential, not only in oncology, but in medicine as a whole.