The use of the CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing system for the regulation of genes with the aim of rewiring cancer cells in vitro is reported in the journal Nature Methods.
All our previous output on this subject can be seen here.
Dr Chris Lord, leader of the Gene Function Team, Institute of Cancer Research, said:
“It’s an interesting idea: using the fundamental nature of a tumour cell to activate a ‘suicide’ program. The key to translating this technique into the clinic will be to see how specific to the tumour cell the CRISPR activation will be and how specific, in terms of genes, the CRISPR mediated gene cutting will be. These are essentially the same two issues you have with all cancer treatments – how specific for the tumour cell and how specific for the target. There is a lot more research needed before this technique can be tested on humans, so it will be a long time before patients see benefit from this advancing technology.”
Prof. Andrew Sharrocks, Professor of Molecular Biology, University of Manchester, said:
“CRISPR technology is a new method for genome editing. These authors report a clever use of this technology to control cancer growth in mice by manipulating the expression of cancer causing genes. The really interesting aspect is that they use a system which responds to signals created by the cancer cells themselves as they grow. This then causes specific genes to switch on or off which result in elimination of the cancer. This is an interesting approach and could have many applications in studying cancer biology in mouse models. However at this stage, it is difficult to envisage how this might be applied to treating cancer in humans.”
‘Directing cellular information flow via CRISPR signal conductors’ by Yuchen Liu et al. published in Nature Methods on Monday 5th September 2016.
September 5, 2016