Israeli scientists say they have developed a way to treat cancer in mice that is so accurate, it is like using “tiny scissors” to target cells, according to a report.
“This is the first study in the world to show that the CRISPR genome processing system, which works by cutting DNA, can be effectively used to treat cancer in an animal,” Dan Peer, a cancer specialist at the University of Tel Aviv, Israel.
Peer’s research was published last week in the journal Science Advances.
“There are no side effects and we believe that a cancer cell treated this way will not become active again.” Peer told the news agency, adding, “This technology can extend the life expectancy of cancer patients and hopefully, one day, cure the disease.”
Peer said he hopes the method could one day replace chemotherapy.
“If we can use this technology, then in three treatments we can destroy a tumor. “This technology can, of course, cut DNA into cancer cells and these cells will not survive,” Peer said.
The research uses genome processing technology using targeted lipid nanoparticles to treat cancer.
The scientists used the technique on hundreds of mice – and Peer said the method could possibly be used in humans within two years.
The study focused on two types of cancer – glioblastoma, an aggressive type of cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord, and metastatic ovarian cancer.
The researchers found that the cancer mice treated received twice the life expectancy of the control group and had a 30% higher survival rate, the news agency reported.
“Technology needs to be further developed, but the main thing is that we have shown that it can kill cancer cells,” Peer said.