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CRISPR being used to treat HIV patients

CRISPR being used to treat HIV patients
The Siliconreview
17 September, 2019

In a first time flagship experiment, CRISPR was used as a tool to treat HIV patients. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, it was used to delete a gene from the donor’s bone marrow before transplanting it into the patient to avoid rejection. This change helps the blood cells to enhance their ability to resist infection caused due to HIV. Even though it did not cure the HIV of the patient, it does not pose any adverse quality which might affect the life of the patient.

"The main purpose of the study was to evaluate the safety and feasibility of genetically-edited stem cell transplantation for AIDS treatment. This was a success: the scientists didn't detect any gene editing-related adverse events, even if more long-term in-depth studies are needed for off-target effects and other safety assessments," said Deng Hongkui, the lead scientist behind the experiment.

Even though they said in a report that "the acute lymphoblastic leukemia was in complete remission and donor cells carrying the ablated CCR5 persisted,"Hongkui believes that any progress in the field is one step ahead for the field of cancer-curation.  He further thinks that diseases like AIDS, sickle anemia, hemophilia and beta thalassemia can benefit from this experimental treatment.