CRISPR Crashes After Study Highlights Potential Cancer Risk From Gene-Editing

Don't mess with mother nature.. or crowded longs!

Crispr Therapeutics led gene-editing stocks lower after new studies published by Nature Medicine found that cells whose genomes are edited with the CRISPR-Cas9 technology have the potential to cause cancer, Stat News reports.

Editing cells’ genomes with CRISPR-Cas9 might increase the risk that the altered cells, intended to treat disease, will trigger cancer, two studies published on Monday warn — a potential game-changer for the companies developing CRISPR-based therapies.

Crispr fell as much as 14%; Editas Medicine and Intellia Therapeutics dropped as much as 9.5%; Sangamo Therapeutics slipped as much as 4.3%

The findings come as Crispr is preparing to start its first clinical study in people in Europe in the second half of the year; the FDA has paused the company’s plans to do a similar trial in the U.S.

Given the massive interest in this company and its gene-editing applications, Stat News asks an obvious question - if successfully CRISPR’d cells can seed cancers, why hasn’t this been seen before, and why haven’t the many CRISPR’d mice developed tumors?

Karolinska’s Haapaniemi said the effect shows up in large-scale experiments like hers and Novartis’ “but can be missed in small-scale studies where people only focus on editing one gene in one cell type.” In speaking to other scientists, she said, “it seems that other teams have noticed the effect of p53 on editing,” but have not highlighted it.



new haven stum… Mon, 06/11/2018 - 11:46 Permalink

"why hasn’t this been seen before, and why haven’t the many CRISPR’d mice developed tumors?"


Because they threw those results out. That is sop for medical research.

cpnscarlet Mon, 06/11/2018 - 11:48 Permalink

Obviously, the "risk" of cancer warning was coming, but I'm pretty sure my friend with severe Crohn's Disease will still be trying to get a position in a new treatment study and take his chances. I hope he gets a slot.

pods natronic Mon, 06/11/2018 - 12:15 Permalink

While this is true, humans have very little real understanding of how the body works on this level. I would be surprised if they could ever make something like this that does NOT have some serious, irreversible effects on people.  This is not some active molecule that the side effects can be remedied by secession of taking it, this can have "oops, sorry you're fucked" kind of side effects.

They will end up having listed side effects for this therapy such as Gigantic Eyeball, and the condition known as "Hot Dog Fingers."


In reply to by natronic

Mr Hankey Mon, 06/11/2018 - 11:52 Permalink

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Collapsed Mon, 06/11/2018 - 11:56 Permalink

This was inevitable.  This is not how genes work.  Genes may give you a predisposition (except for the roughly 5% with a mutation), but your environment turns them on or off.  

Al Huxley Mon, 06/11/2018 - 11:57 Permalink

Why are you sensationalizing a minor downtick in a backwater tech stock when the GOLD MARKET is EXPLODING higher!  User to be we could count on ZH to report exciting moves in the precious metals market, sigh, it's not the site it used to be!  Guess the only reliable news source now is King World News.

ThanksIwillHav… Mon, 06/11/2018 - 11:59 Permalink

They have no fucking idea how the genes work.   The DNA is the hardware and is minuscule compared to the (m)MRA software.  And remember the Junk DNA?   Well it ain't junk but they don't know much about that either.   

Hillarys Server Mon, 06/11/2018 - 12:08 Permalink

I saw a video with Stefan Molypants, my affectionate nickname for him, on using CRISPR to create mega geniuses.

The guy interviewed said there could be a thousand genes related to genius, but, in line with the Pareto Principle that the square root of a population produces half the outcome, if you find about a hundred of those genes that will do the trick.

And after you find those hundred, the rest will fall like dominos.

Geniuses up to now like Einstein maybe only had twenty or thirty of these genius genes but after we decode them all if we use CRISPR to flip them on, just going flip flip flip, we'll get babies so intelligent that there has mathematically never been a human being even close.

The guy interviewed is a consultant who works for a big Chinese gene lab in Shenzhen, China.

Just like a cow in a milk factory has been genetically altered to have jugs never seen on a cow in the wild but is basically a colossal row of ttts arranged neatly across four tiny legs these babies will achieve supersymmetry through a new understanding of loop quantum gravity before they can burp.

But how will the mothers feel?

"Hey, you in the attractive pants suit, let's have some breast feeding over here. Don't you want me to see my first birthday?"

"And be sure to burp me so I don't choke. And drive me to a urologist. My dcck isn't working."

"And let's have some of that right teat too or I'll phone child services and say you abused me. See this cute little baby thigh? Whack! See the red bruise forming? I can do that any time I want, milkmaid."

"And give me twelve seconds, I want to read The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire on my Kindle. Flip, flip, flip, flip, flip, flip, flip. Not bad. Okay, let's have the teat now, nipple first."

"Oh, that's good... Bring it on, baby."

"Really sorry, just seven more seconds, I want to learn Latin. Okay, thanks, ego sunt finitatum. And twelve more seconds, I want to read the complete works of Tacitus. Flip, flip, flip, flip, flip, flip, flip. That's all he had to say? Amusing little ignoramus. I had more life wisdom before my first poop."

"Okay, dairy queen, smile and rub me on my tummy. I like it when you do that. Pretty much all you're good for. Boobs and poop changing."

"I have more stimulating conversations with Frisky. At least he barks with meter and cadence."

"Rub woman rub! These baby fingers are small but they can still bitchslap you!"

pods Arnold Mon, 06/11/2018 - 12:44 Permalink

If that doesn't make you shudder, nothing will. Look at how well they treated their land and water. Now they are going to be stewards of the body?

Fuck that.  Gonna be some crazy mutant chinks feeding off brains before you know it.

"Well, at least the cancer's gone."

How can a society that is as mature as China's not see the consequences of pissing in their bathtub?

I saw a video of one factory owner who was pumping toxic waste straight into a river. People were complaining, so he moved the pipe further out.  That's China in a nutshell.


In reply to by Arnold

Hyjinx Mon, 06/11/2018 - 12:27 Permalink

I work with CRISPR every day and have developed a somewhat better implementation than the current system.  The problem is is that single-guide CRISPR approaches still have too many random off-target effects - especially if the cells contain stable integrants of the entire system.  I've made a more stable and much more specific implementation. Others are working on this issue as well and soon enough it will be perfected.

UndertheDRADIS Mon, 06/11/2018 - 12:27 Permalink

So the choice is "die now" from something that isn't profitable enough for drug development or "die later" maybe from cancer? I'll take "Die Later" for $500, Alex.