University Of Minnesota Opens First Of Its Kind Clinical Trial To Treat Metastatic Gi Cancers Using Crispr Genetic Engineering

A Phase II clinical trial has recently opened and has begun enrolling patients at M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center. This trial will utilize CRISPR genetic engineering to design a treatment for metastatic gastrointestinal solid tumor cancer. To date, CAR-T and other cell therapies such as natural killer cells have shown promising results in liquid tumors, but there have been no effective treatments developed for the treatment of solid tumor cancers.

Principal Investigators Branden Moriarity, PhD, and Beau Webber, PhD, both Assistant Professors with the Department of Pediatrics, along with R. Scott McIvor, PhD, will work with the National Cancer Institute’s Surgery Branch to employ CRISPR/Cas9 technology to mitigate the effects of a gene called CISH, found in human T cells. Inactivation of the CISH gene could increase the ability of T cells to recognize and infiltrate tumor cells, allowing for the body to initiate an immune response due to the tumor’s presence. With the preciseness of CRISPR/Cas9 technology and the potential uses for this treatment, the researchers hope to start modifying and fine-tuning the treatment to mirror the success of other T cell therapies used for liquid tumors. To learn more about this Phase II trial, follow this link.