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Christiana Care continues to lessen cancer diagnostic time with new CRISPR techniques

Christiana Care's Gene Editing Institute

Christiana Care Health System researchers have found yet another way to reduce the time it takes to make a cancer diagnosis.

According to an article released Thursday, the researchers can use the gene editing technology known as CRISPR to simultaneously make multiple edits to DNA fragments. This can be used to reproduce the genetic features of a cancer tumor.

Christiana Care researchers developed a similar method a year ago, making single edits to the DNA on a chip outside of the human cell. That reduced the time of diagnosis from about two weeks to less than one.

Dr. Eric Kmiec is the Director of Christiana Care’s Gene Editing Institute at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center. He says this latest breakthrough allows doctors to recreate the genetic makeup of a malignant tumor in less than 24 hours.

“We have furthered the work and developed it into a method for improving cancer diagnosis,” said Kmiec.

Kmiec also points out his institute is the only one embedded in a community cancer center—developing new technologies and treating patients at the same location.

“Eventually it’s going to have to come to community cancer centers to have a true impact on the patients and I think we’re well positioned to execute those technologies,” he said.

According to the article, researchers believe the new technique could eventually be used to treat complex genetic diseases like Type 2 diabetes.

This latest CRISPR technique was developed through Christiana Care’s ongoing partnership with the Israeli biopharma company Novellus DX.

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