Usually the immune system identifies defective cells that may lead to the development of cancer, and destroys them with the help of T cells.
After using the different variable for certain years, The UCSF researchers got to know that when CRISPR, DNA, and T-cells are mixed and exposed to the electrical field then T-cells will be able to take in the elements and new DNA sequence will be integrated precisely. "With this new technique, we can cut and paste into a specified place, rewriting a specific page in the genome sequence".
"Theo was convinced that if we could figure out the right conditions, we could overcome these perceived limitations, and he put in a Herculean effort to test thousands of different conditions: the ratio of the CRISPR to the DNA; different ways of culturing the cells; different electrical currents", said UCSF's Alex Marson, scientific director of biomedicine at the Innovative Genomics Institute and senior author of the new study.
In a breakthrough, United States scientists have genetically reprogrammed the human immune cells known as T cells with the help of electric shocks, instead of the traditional method of using viruses to insert DNA.
The researchers developed two different types of cells.
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A quick zap of electricity makes T cells more receptive to taking in new genetic material and gene-editing reagents, researchers report July 11 in Nature. These genome-edited tumor cells are then injected back into the mice. Previous studies also used cancer-killing viruses or cells with a suicide switch, but treatment success has yet to be found. Happens the neutralization of the "deceptive" protein that can no longer deactivate T cells.
The two approaches were tested in mouse models that suffered from primary brain cancer, recurrent brain cancer, and breast cancer that had spread to the brain. But the research is promising, nonetheless, and could revolutionize treatment for cancer and autoimmune diseases, including HIV and lupus. A breakthrough in genetic engineering have managed to do thanks to the technique CRISPR.
In their journal article, the Brigham and Women's authors noted that other studies have explored the use of cancer cells as treatments, but the need to limit their activity for safety reasons caused the cells to be eliminated or to "die before reaching the primary or metastatic tumor cells", they wrote. He is also part of the faculty at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Stem Cell Institute.
Roth said that because the new technique makes it possible to create viable custom T cell lines in a little over a week, it has already transformed the research environment in Marson's lab. Ideas for experiments that were previously deemed too hard or expensive because of the obstacles presented by viral vectors are now ripe for investigation. We show that both approaches allow high expression of targeted ligands that induce tumor cell killing and translate into marked survival benefits in mouse models of multiple cancer types. If viral vectors are available then they are not ideal and can not transfer the desired DNA sequences.