Tech and Science

How CRISPR Gene Editing Technology is Transforming Cancer Research and Treatment

How CRISPR Gene Editing Technology is Transforming Cancer Research and Treatment
Source: Pixabay

Cancer considerably impacts society in the US, with over 600,000 people dying from this disease each year. The most common forms of cancer are breast, lung, bronchus, colon, prostate, skin, and bladder.Unfortunately, despite the enormous amount of research that has gone into this deadly disease, we still do not have a cure for most forms of cancer. So, research into the different forms of cancer is crucial.
Over the past few years, one type of technology that has shown immense promise is gene editing technology. If you want to learn more about gene editing technology, what it is, and how it is transforming cancer research and treatment, keep reading below:

Gene Editing Technology and Cancer

Many years ago, scientists discovered that changes in DNA cause cancer. Since then, they have been looking for ways to correct these changes by manipulating DNA. While there have been several methods of gene editing technology in the past, none have achieved this. However, in 2013, CRISPR technology was introduced, which can alter human DNA easily.

While CRISPR is still in early development, it has started moving out of lab dishes and into trials of cancer patients. However, scientists are proceeding cautiously, as they are unsure of the tool’s strengths and weaknesses.

What is CRISPR Gene Editing Technology?

Like many other scientific advances, CRISPR was inspired by nature. The idea behind this technology came from a simple defense mechanism in some microbes. To keep themselves safe against invaders, these microbes took small pieces of the invader’s DNA and stored them away as segments called CRISPRs. If the germ tried to attack again, these small pieces would slice up the invader’s DNA.

How is CRISPR Gene Editing Technology Transforming Cancer Research and Treatments?

Scientistsbelieve that CRISPR technology will be a game changer for cancer patients.One of the main reasons is that this tool is much quicker than previous gene editing tools. In the past, it would take a year or two to create a genetically engineered model. However, this is no longer the case; CRISPR can create it within a few months. This means patients will not have to wait as long for results or treatment.

As well as this, it is also completely customizable, meaning it can edit just the affected parts of the body. Another plus is that it can easily be scaled up. Researchers will be able to manipulate thousands of genes at a time.

CRISPR Clinical Trials for Cancer Patients

The first clinical trial in the US to test cancer therapy produced by CRISPR technology was launched in 2019. This study tests a type of immunotherapy in which the patient’s immune cells are changed to make them genetically better and destroy their cancer.

The initial finding from this trial found that the treatment was safe. However, there were some minor side effects. As well as this, it also found that the treatment had some effect on the patient’s cancer. This is great news for cancer patients wanting to find a cure for this deadly disease.

The Future of Gene Editing and Cancer

There’s still a long way to go before CRISPR technology can eradicate cancer. In the meantime, new technologies are being introduced all the time which could help improve cancer survival rates. One example of this is Hera BioLabs and their Preclinical Oncology drugs. Cas-CLOVER gene editing technology is expected to aid in the development of these drugs.

Since 2013, CRISPR technology has been astoundingscientists in the US. And although this type of gene editing technology is still in the early stages of development, we are hopeful that this type of technology will cure all types of cancer in the future

About the author

Saman Iqbal

Saman is a law student. She enjoys writing about tech, politics and the world in general. She's an avid reader and writes fictional prose in her free time.

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