Cervical Cancer “Cure” Closer with Gene-Editing
Queensland researchers are hailing a world-first “cure” for cervical cancer, having killed off tumors in mice using the CRISPR gene-editing technology. The scientists used CRISPR-Cas9, a technology for changing the sequence of DNA in cells to correct mutations, to successfully target and treat cervical cancer tumors in mice using “stealth” nanoparticles. This is the first cure for any cancer using this technology, the lead researcher said.
He said it had been a five-year research project, with the nanoparticles used to target a gene called E7 found in cancers caused by the human papillomavirus. They would then edit it by introducing some extra DNA that causes the gene to be misread and stop being made.
The scientists targeted human papillomavirus (HPV)-driven cancers — cervical cancer in this case — and delivered the nanoparticles via injection into live tumor-bearing mice. This is like adding a few extra letters into a word so the spell checker doesn’t recognize it anymore. Because cancer must have this gene to produce, once edited, cancer dies.
Source: ABC News
Name of Author: Lexy Hamilton-Smith