Doctors in China lead race to treat cancer by editing genes

Clinicians in China are forging ahead with using CRISPR-based gene editing approaches to treat cancer patients. There are at least nine studies going on in China looking at ways to use gene editing as a treatment. For instance,  one study is taking place at the Hangzhou Cancer Hospital in which scientists are taking patients’ T cells, modifying them using CRISPR to knock out their the PD-1 gene, and infusing them back into patients to attack their tumors. About 40 percent of patients have responded to treatment and most of the side effects have been minor. By contrast, only one CRISPR trial has been approved in the US, and it has just started to look for patients to enroll.