Il nuovo metodo di “taglia e incolla” del Dna è servito per trattare un malato di cancro. Pechino ha battuto gli Stati Uniti, che sono indietro di alcuni mesi nella sperimentazione di questa tecnica. L’annuncio su Nature.

Il primo intervento di ingegneria genetica sull’uomo usando il metodo Crispr è appena avvenuto in Cina. Lo riferisce la rivista Nature sul suo sito. L’ospedale dell’università del Sichuan a Chengdu ha trattato il paziente malato di cancro con un intervento rivoluzionario, che cerca di sfruttare la manipolazione del Dna dell’organismo per eliminare il tumore.

Gli Stati Uniti, che pure vogliono seguire la strada dell’ingegneria genetica per provare a combattere il cancro, questa volta sono costretti a inseguire. Lo stesso intervento, negli Usa, è ancora impigliato nelle procedure di autorizzazione. Ci vorranno forse mesi prima che anche Washington dia il via libera a una tecnica – Crispr – tanto potente quanto eticamente discussa.

A Chengdu l’oncologo Lu You ha arruolato un paziente con un tumore del polmone con metastasi. Gli ha fatto un prelievo di sangue e ne ha estratto alcune cellule del sistema immunitario. Poi ha modificato il loro genoma – e qui è entrato in gioco Crispr – in modo da rendere queste cellule aggressive nei confronti del cancro. Le cellule così trattate sono state reiniettate nel malato lo scorso 28 ottobre. Ora bisognerà attendere, per vedere se svolgeranno il loro compito come previsto. Le modalità dell’esperimento erano state approvate a luglio dalle autorità dell’ospedale….L’articolo di Repubblica: www.repubblica.it/salute/2016/11/15/news/ingegneria_genetica_sull_uomo_primo_intervento_in_cina_con_il_metodo_crispr-152086759/

2 articoli su NATURE

CRISPR gene-editing tested in a person for the first time

The move by Chinese scientists could spark a biomedical duel between China and the United States.

A Chinese group has become the first to inject a person with cells that contain genes edited using the revolutionary CRISPR–Cas9 technique.

On 28 October, a team led by oncologist Lu You at Sichuan University in Chengdu delivered the modified cells into a patient with aggressive lung cancer as part of a clinical trial at the West China Hospital, also in Chengdu.

Earlier clinical trials using cells edited with a different technique have excited clinicians. The introduction of CRISPR, which is simpler and more efficient than other techniques, will probably accelerate the race to get gene-edited cells into the clinic across the world, says Carl June, who specializes in immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and led one of the earlier studies.

“I think this is going to trigger ‘Sputnik 2.0’, a biomedical duel on progress between China and the United States, which is important since competition usually improves the end product,” he says.

June is the scientific adviser for a planned US trial that will use CRISPR to target three genes in participants’ cells, with the goal of treating various cancers. He expects the trial to start in early 2017. And in March 2017, a group at Peking University in Beijing hopes to start three clinical trials using CRISPR against bladder, prostate and renal-cell cancers. Those trials do not yet have approval or funding.

Source: www.nature.com/news/crispr-gene-editing-tested-in-a-person-for-the-first-time-1.20988?WT.mc_id=SFB_NNEWS_1508_RHBox

Chinese scientists to pioneer first human CRISPR trial

Gene-editing technique to treat lung cancer is due to be tested in people in August.

Chinese scientists are on the verge of being first in the world to inject people with cells modified using the CRISPR–Cas9 gene-editing technique.

A team led by Lu You, an oncologist at Sichuan University’s West China Hospital in Chengdu, plans to start testing such cells in people with lung cancer next month. The clinical trial received ethical approval from the hospital’s review board on 6 July.

“It’s an exciting step forward,” says Carl June, a clinical researcher in immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

There have been a number of human clinical trials using an alternative gene-editing technique, including one led by June, that have helped patients combat HIV. June is also a scientific adviser on a planned US trial that would also use CRISPR–Cas9-modified cells for the treatment of cancer.

Last month, an advisory panel of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) approved that project. But the trial also requires a green light from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a university review board. The US researchers have said they could start their clinical trial by the end of this year….L’articolo di Nature: www.nature.com/news/chinese-scientists-to-pioneer-first-human-crispr-trial-1.20302