Gene editing tech shows promise in cervical cancer

Gene editing tech shows promise in cervical cancer

Scientists from Griffith University in Queensland utilised nanoparticles to target and repair cervical tumour cells raising hopes for treating women with cervical cancer.

The gene-editing technology could treat cervical cancer tumours in mice with a 100 percent survival rate, reported ABC News.

The gene-editing tool, known as CRISPR-Cas9, is injected by nanoparticles into the patient’s bloodstream. The nanoparticles then search and identify the cancer-causing gene E7 and cut the gene in half. When the cell repairs the gene with extra DNA, the cell doesn’t recognise the cancerous cells and generates a healthy cell.

Professor Nigel McMillan described the nanoparticles as being like a spell-checker. “This is like adding a few extra letters into a word so the spell checker doesn’t recognise it anymore. The cancer must have this gene to produce, once edited, cancer dies.”

The scientists also said that the therapy did not lead to any markers, inflammation or damage. Professor McMillan, together with research partner Luqman Jabair, have reported to have applied for a grant to begin human trials within the next five years.

‘There are still many steps to go through before we get to the clinic stage, but I think this really proves that gene editing is going to be proved to be useful,’ Professor McMillan said. The study was published in Molecular Therapy.

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