Fast Five Quiz: Genomic Medicine — CRISPR Gene Editing

Kiran Musunuru, MD, PhD


December 23, 2021

Most of the chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR-T cells) in clinical development are derived from the patient's own T cells and thus do not incur risk for graft-vs-host disease. The next step, though, might be the use of healthy donor T cells, although those T cells can cause graft-vs-host disease. Different gene-editing technologies might be used to cut out the T-cell receptors responsible for graft-vs-host disease.

One of the challenges with CAR-T cells is how to streamline their manufacture so that more patients can be treated. One potential approach is to create third-party T cells. For that strategy, gene editing could be helpful in adjusting those cells so that they can be used.

Some researchers are also considering adjusting autologous T cells because different immunomodulatory genes can affect the efficacy of CAR-T cells. CRISPR could be used to knock out genes to prevent T-cell exhaustion, for example.

Learn more about how CRISPR may be used to improve cancer treatment.

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