Israeli Scientists Kill Cancer Cells with Breakthrough Treatment

Israeli scientists kill cancer cells with ground-breaking DNA-altering treatment.

Israeli scientists have killed cancer cells with ground-breaking DNA-altering treatment they compared to using ‘microscopic scissors’ to target tumours. Researchers at Tel Aviv University used CRISPR Cas-9, a unique technology that enables geneticists and medical researchers to edit parts of the genome, to kill off cancer cells.

This unique study on mice is first to use the gene-editing tool to kill cancer in the body Professor Dan Peer said he hopes the treatment will be ready to be administered to humans in two years and will eventually go on to replace chemotherapy. The difference will be that it is thought there will be virtually, if not any, side-effects with the new treatment.

Now, Israeli scientists say they have used ground-breaking technology to destroy cancerous cells in mice without damaging others, in what they say is a world first. The CRISPR Cas-9 gene editing system allows scientists to make precise alterations to DNA, and gained creators Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier the Nobel Prize for Chemistry this year.

Research from Tel Aviv University now suggests the system can be used to treat cancer in animals, according to Professor Dan Peer whose peer-reviewed research was published in the Science Advances journal. ‘This technology can extend the life expectancy of cancer patients and we hope, one day, cure the disease,’ Peer said, adding that the technique can destroy a tumour within three treatments. This technology can physically cut the DNA in cancerous cells, and those cells will not survive.’

Peer said he hopes the process will eventually replace chemotherapy – an aggressive form of treatment that can have serious side effects for patients. Unlike the technique piloted in the Tel Aviv University research, chemotherapy is administered to the whole body.

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Tony Winterburn

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