The Use of CRISPR-Cas9 Technology to Study and Create Cancer Therapeutics
Genetic disorders are the result of abnormalities that arise in the human genome at birth or through postnatal random genetic change. These abnormalities can also increase the risk for developing other diseases such as cancerous cell growth. Traditional treatment for genetic disorders has focused on alleviation of symptoms to increase patient welfare rather than treating the root cause, the genetic abnormality. As genetic editing technologies are developed and refined, the prospect of correcting the abnormal genetic sequence is becoming realistic. The CRISPR-Cas9 system has made it possible for researchers to respond to genetic abnormalities quickly by cutting and replacing the abnormal sequence to then contain a healthy sequence and potentially reverse the abnormal phenotype. Cancer, a disease based on genetic dysfunction, is a prime target for genetic editing. Often treated with debilitating radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery, the use of genetic editing has the potential to revolutionize current treatment options. This review will discuss the current outlook of cancer and its treatment with a focus on how CRISPR-Cas9 can be used to edit immunotherapy options that clinicians currently possess. Furthermore, potential dangers of the CRISPR-Cas9 technology and consequences of the system and its unethical use will be discussed. Finally, there will be an evaluation on the future of how CRISPR-Cas9 can be used in medicine.
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Copyright (c) 2019 Andrew J. Kennedy, Jeffrey O. Henderson
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