By providing us with gene editing tools, such as CRISPR, we’re well on our way to personalizing the medical revolution. CRISPR provides a way for us to alter gene expression in particular cells, based on need.
When all possible treatments had failed, the parents of Layla, a 1-year-old with leukemia, sought help from new technology developed by Cellectis – a biopharmaceutical company based in Paris, France.
The gene editing therapy, which was still experimental, had been utilized once before in a patient with HIV. Layla and her parents have immunologist Waseem Qasim and his team to thank.
Physicians and scientists worked together to give Layla immune cells from a healthy donor that had been modified with a gene editing tool.
Treating cancer isn’t the full extent of gene editing by any means: we can halt the spread of malaria by looking at mosquitos, bring back species gone extinct by the unforgiving hand of human industrialization, or even restore vision in patients.
With the gene editing, it seems the possibilities are only the beginning.