CRISPR Genome Editor First Used for HIV Therapy

CRISPR Genome Editor Finds Moreuse in medicine to treat patients. We will regularly inform about this on the pages of our portal. So if you do not want to miss the news, we recommend subscribing to our channel in Telegram. If before everything was limited to only a series of experiments in laboratories or, at best, experiments on animals, now scientists are using the achievements in the field of CRISPR to help people. For example, recently Chinese doctors used CRISPR to edit the immune cells of a patient suffering from HIV. And this therapy was, to some extent, very successful.

Genome Editor is a powerful tool that can help us defeat incurable diseases.

How a genome editor can cure HIV

In order to help people, doctors decideduse the mutation CCR532. It has been open for quite some time. And this rare mutation makes human T cells (responsible for immunity) resistant to HIV infection. In a 33-year-old patient participating in the experiment, in addition to diagnosed with HIV, T-cell leukemia was also detected. This complicated the process. So the person should have been treated with radiation therapy, which will kill most of the T cells. And since they are responsible for immunity, after receiving such treatment, the patient could very quickly die due to the rapid spread of the immunodeficiency virus throughout the body.

As a result, scientists decided to combine treatment withexperimental procedure: after irradiation, they introduced to the patient his own cells, already edited with CRISPR, which “introduced” the above mutation CCR532. CRISPR-modified cells have taken root in the body. The most interesting thing is that 19 months after the experiment, cells with a mutation were still detected in the patient's body. Moreover, the mutation was transmitted to other blood cells, and not just to new T-lymphocytes.

See also: Finally, large-scale trials of the HIV vaccine have begun.

True, the number of these cells was stillinsufficient to completely cure the patient of a dangerous virus. The percentage of “mutated” cells was only 17.8% at the start of the experiment and about 8% 19 months after the first injection of CRISPR-modified cells.

The process of editing the genome looks something like this. Some genes are cut out and replaced with new ones.

However, the authors of the work are sure that theirresearch is successful. On the one hand, this is the longest observation of CRISPR-edited cells in the human body to date. On the other hand, scientists have proved that even a prolonged stay in the body of edited cells does not cause additional harm to the body. Moreover, importantly, against the background of the patient having cancer, the new cells did not turn into tumor cells, which scientists were most afraid of.

Moreover, in theory, if you increase the numberCRISPR-modified cells in the human body, it will be possible to achieve regression of the virus and, possibly, even a complete cure. Now Chinese doctors are looking for ways to create populations of cells that could "survive" in the body much longer in order to "replace" all blood cells with new ones and thereby try to heal the patient from a dangerous disease.