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Changes in the genome: the fight against cancer, or "designer" babies

October 26, 2016 12:29



Chief oncologist Lu Yu medical clinic at Sichuan University (Sichuan University) made a sensational statement. Scientists were allowed to experimental studies of the human genome. Earlier, the Chinese have already restored the defective gene that triggers the development of hereditary haemoglobinopathies - sickle-cell anemia. Researchers have attempted to artificially introduce the fetus "correct" DNA molecule. Of the 89 embryos survived only 28, 4 of them have reached the planned result.

The new experiment will start in August 2016. The goal - to change people's T-cells, which are found in cancer. Editing lymphocytes researchers want to launch a program of destruction of atypical cancer units in the body. The change in the DNA of the immune system will be used mechanism CRISPR-Cas9. Withdrawn for the study of T-cells undergo extraction controlling the expression of PD-1 protein, located on their surface. It helps to communicate with atypical lymphocytes cells, provoking the growth of cancerous tumors. 

Taken from the blood of patients with lung cancer samples planned to be cultured in the laboratory, after which the cells are returned to their rightful owners. Lu Yu argues that removing the molecule PD-1 could include protective mechanisms. This will happen by analogy with the machine, where the ignition key immediately activates a complex mechanism. Modified T lymphocytes after transformation can attack tumors by destroying tumors and purifying from an organism a malicious infection.

Drugs that inhibit this process and have received FDA approval - Keytruda Opdivo and gave hope to the activation of the immune system against more cancers.  

Such studies inspire fears that DNA editing will be applied on embryos. This will make it possible to produce "designer" babies with well-programmed life-support system. On the other hand, the experiment is a step on the way to getting rid of cancer. This will create a mechanism for neutralizing the disease in the human body.          


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