The ‘cut and paste’ gene technique famous for transforming the way we can edit DNA has set its sights on cancer’s ‘command centre’.

CRISPR-Cas9 is a modern ‘cut and paste’ tool for making precise edits in DNA.

Researchers used the tool to target fusion genes, mutations that arise when two genes fuse to make an unhealthy hybrid, in mice.

The promising results could one day be used to inform treatment of prostate, lung and ovary cancer.

The technique caused tumours to shrink and increased survival rates when tested on mice.

‘This is the first time that gene editing has been used to specifically target cancer fusion genes,’ said Dr Jian-Hua Luo, from University of Pittsburgh.

‘It is really exciting because it lays the groundwork for what could become a totally new approach to treating cancer.

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