Preprint / Version 1

The Current Implications of CRISPR in Immunotherapies for Leukemia


  • Aarthi Sethuraman Student



Leukemia, Immunotherapies, Cancer, CRISPR, Genome Editing


Leukemia, a type of hematological (blood) malignancy, is an umbrella term used to describe a type of cancer in the blood cells and is one of the most common pediatric cancers in the United States. There are two broad categories of blood cells: red blood cells (RBC) and white blood cells (WBC). Red blood cells are formed in the bone marrow and are essential to transporting oxygen from the lungs through the body. White blood cells are crucial to fight infections and typically grow and divide in a regulated manner. However, those with leukemia produce an excessive amount of white blood cells or a limited amount of red blood cells, causing severe harm to the body. Traditionally, leukemia is commonly treated with chemotherapy, cell transplantation, and radiation. Yet, these methods offer limited success rates and often diminish patients' quality of life. As leukemia arises as a significant contributor to adolescent mortality, alternative approaches are needed to treat it and improve survival rates. One such approach is combining immunotherapies, treatments that utilize the immune system, and CRISPR, a genome editing tool, thus enabling the body to use the immune system to fight leukemia instead of the traditional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. The review discusses the immune system's role in leukemia progression and how immunotherapies, augmented by CRISPR, offer targeted and effective alternatives to traditional therapies. Recent studies showcasing CRISPR-engineered T cells with chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) targeting leukemia cells are highlighted for their promising outcomes, including improved precision and prolonged efficacy compared to conventional treatments.


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