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CRISPR gene-editing may boost cancer immunotherapy, new study finds

Katie Pope Kopp went through round after round of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant to treat her non-Hodgkin lymphoma. But nothing could beat it.

“I went back to get a PET scan in May of 2020, and that’s when they found that my non-Hodgkin’s had blown back up, which was very disappointing,” says Kopp, 64, of Parkville, Mo. She was originally diagnosed five years ago.

Victor Bartolome suffered through decades of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, too, to keep his blood cancer at bay. Eventually, his doctors told him he had run out of options.

“That was devastating. Imagine having what you think is your last hope pulled out from under you,” says Bartolome, 74, of Santa Barbara, Calif.

But then Kopp and Bartolome heard about something new: In the last few years, some doctors have started using the gene-editing technique CRISPR to try to modify cells of the immune system to treat cancers like theirs.