Researchers Developing Cancer Treatment by Genetic Manipulation



YERUSHALAYIM – Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 3:44 pm | ג’ כסלו תשפ”א Prof. Dan Peer of Tel Aviv University. (via social media)Researchers at Tel Aviv University announced on Thursday a significant advance in treating metastatic cancers by means of genetic manipulation.
The CRISPR/Cas9 system was found to be very effective. It uses a novel technology – a lipid nanoparticle-based delivery system that specifically targets cancer cells and destroys them by genetic manipulation. The system, called CRISPR-LNPs, carries a genetic messenger (messenger RNA), which encodes for the CRISPR enzyme Cas9 that acts as molecular scissors that cut the cells’ DNA.
To examine the feasibility of using the technology, Prof. Dan Peer and his team at Tel Aviv University chose one of the deadliest cancers: glioblastoma. Glioblastoma is the most aggressive type of brain cancer, with a life expectancy of 15 months since diagnosis and a five-year survival rate of only 3%. The researchers demonstrated that a single treatment with CRISPR-LNPs doubled the average life expectancy of mice with glioblastoma tumors, improving their overall survival rate by about 30%.
“This is the first study in the world to prove that the CRISPR genome editing system can be used to treat cancer in a living animal effectively,” says Prof. Peer. “It must be emphasized that this is not chemotherapy. There are no side effects, and a cancer cell treated in this way will never become active again. The molecular scissors of Cas9 cut the cancer cell’s DNA, thereby neutralizing it and permanently preventing replication.”
Prof. Peer adds: “ …