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A federal panel will get its first look next week at a proposal to use the revolutionary gene-editing technology CRISPR in humans, in this case to try to treat cancer.

The experiment, proposed by the University of Pennsylvania, would remove certain cells of the immune system, called T cells, from cancer patients. Scientists would then use CRISPR to genetically modify the T cells so that when they’re returned to the patient, they target and destroy myeloma, melanoma, and sarcoma tumor cells.


Carrie Wolinetz, the associate director for science policy at the National Institutes of Health, disclosed the review in a blog post, which was first reported by MIT Technology Review. The federal panel must review all human experiments that alter DNA.

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