Longevity Briefs: CRISPR/Cas9 for cancer treatment

Posted on 15 October 2020

Longevity briefs provides a short summary of a novel research, medicine, or technology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.

Why is this research important: It usually takes several mutations in our cells to occur, before they become cancerous. However, many types of cancer emerge after a single oncogenic change in the genome. So-called fusion oncogenes are chimeric genes arising from a fusion of 2 different genes. Targeting those genes has been shown to inhibit tumour cell growth in vivo and in vitro.

What did the researchers do: In this article, researches have used CRISPR/Cas9 (DNA editing machinery) to target introns (non-coding areas of a gene) in both genes that are involved in a fusion oncogene. This approach allows the only deletion of the reading frame of fusion oncogenes, without disturbing the work of genes, from which fusion oncogene was derived.

Key takeaway(s) from this research: In vitro analysis, have shown inhibition of cancer cell growth. It provides a proof-of-concept for non-breakpoint-specific genome editing strategy targeting fusion oncogenes as an innovative approach for target therapy.

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