CRISPR Screen Identifies Top 100 Essential Genes for Cancer Immunotherapy

07:14 EDT 7 Aug 2017 | Genetic Engineering News

Existing cancer immunotherapies harness T cells that recognize and home in on tumor-specific targets and kill the cancer cells. Immunotherapy using checkpoint inhibitors, for example, disconnects immune system restraints so that the T cells can attack the cancer cells. Other forms of immunotherapy, including cancer vaccines and adoptive T- cell therapy , increase the numbers of cytotoxic T cells that are mobilized to the tumor. Immunotherapy can be highly effective against advanced cancers in some patients, but in other cases treatment doesn’t work. To try to understand the genetic basis of these differing responses, scientists at the U.S. National Institutes of Health developed a genome-scale CRISPR/Cas9 screen that allowed them to knock out every single gene in a melanoma cell line and then systematically test each gene for its effect on T-cell responses against the melanoma. Using this "two-cell type" (2CT)- CRISPR assay, the researchers, led by Shashank ...

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