First human trial of CRISPR gets US panel's nod

Washington: For a study designed to target three types of cancer, a US advisory panel has approved the first human use of the groundbreaking gene-editing technology CRISPR, media reports said. The proposed experiment is being funded by former Facebook President Sean Parker's new cancer institute. The experiment, proposed by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, would use CRISPR-Cas9 technology to modify patients' own T cells to make them more effective in attacking melanoma, multiple myeloma and sarcoma, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday. The US National Institutes of Health's Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee approved the proposal.  The experiment still must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates clinical trials, the report said. The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy aims to accelerate the development of breakthrough immune therapies capable of turning cancer into a curable disease by ensuring the coordination and collaboration of the field’s top researchers. The new study involves T cells - white blood cells essential for ridding the body of bacteria, malignancies and other invaders.