Congratulations to Gabrielle’s Angels grantee Dr. Marco Ruella and his colleagues at the Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania on this impressive breakthrough! Dr. Ruella and his team discovered that knocking out a protein known to stifle T cell activation on CAR T cells using the CRISPR/Cas9 technology enhanced the engineered T cells’ ability to eliminate blood cancers.
CRISPR technology gives scientists the ability to locate and edit any unwanted gene. For cancer, it works by deleting a specific gene only in T cells to help better fight tumors. The approach is closely related to CAR T cell therapy, in which researchers collect a patient’s own T cells and engineer them to express a new receptor that seeks out and attacks cancer cells. Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation has seen the promise of CRISPR technology for many years and funds several projects related to its use. We look forward to hearing more exciting news from Dr. Ruella regarding this breakthrough! Check out the full article here.