One of the challenges of CAR T cell therapy in solid tumors is a phenomenon known as T cell exhaustion. Previous studies have alluded to the inflammatory regulator Regnase-1 as a potential target to indirectly overcome the effects of T-cell exhaustion, as it can cause hyperinflammation when disrupted in T cells, reviving them to produce an antitumor response. The research team hypothesized that targeting the related but independent Roquin-1 regulator at the same time could boost responses further. The team used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to knock out Regnase-1 and Roquin-1 individually and together in healthy donor T cells with two different immune receptors that are currently being studied in Phase I clinical trials: the mesothelin-targeting M5 CAR (mesoCAR) and the NY-ESO-1-targeting 8F TCR (NYESO TCR). Following CRISPR editing, the T cells were expanded and infused into solid tumor mouse models, where the researchers observed that the double knockout resulted in at least a 10-fold increase in modified T cells compared to knocking down Regnase-1 alone, as well as increased anti-tumor immune activity and longevity of modified T cells. In some mice, this also led to an overproduction of lymphocytes, causing toxicity.