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Enhancing Cold Atmospheric Plasma Treatment Efficiency for Cancer Therapy Open Access

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To improve efficiency and safety of anti-cancer therapies the researchers and clinicians alike are prompted to develop targeted combined therapies that especially minimize damage to healthy tissues while eradicating the body of cancerous tissues. Previous research in cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) and cancer cell interaction has repeatedly proven that cold plasma induced cell death. In this study, we seek to integrate the medical application of CAP. We proposed and implemented 3 novel ideas to enhance efficacy and selectivity of cancer therapy.It is postulated that the reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) play a major role in the CAP cancer therapy. We determined a mechanism of CAP therapy on glioblastoma cells (U87) through an understanding of the composition of CAP, including output voltage, treatment time, and gas flow-rate. We varied the characteristics of the cold plasma in order to obtain different major species (such as O, OH, N2+, and N2 lines). ‘‘plasma dosage’’D ~ Q * V * tis defined, where D is the entire “plasma dosage”; Q is the flow rate of feeding gas; V is output voltage; t is treatment time. The proper CAP dosage caused 3-fold cell death in the U87 cells compared to the normal human astrocytes E6/E7 cells.We demonstrated there is a synergy between AuNPS and CAP in cancer therapy. Specifically, the concentration of AuNPs plays an important role on plasma therapy. At an optimal concentration, gold nanoparticles can significantly induce U87 cell death up to a 30% overall increase compared to the control group with the same plasma dosage but no AuNPs applied. The ROS intensity of the corresponding conditions has a reversed trend compared to cell viability. This matches with the theory that intracellular ROS accumulation results in oxidative stress, which further changes the intracellular pathways, causing damage to the proteins, lipids and DNA. Our results show that this synergy has great potential in improving the efficiency of cancer therapy and reducing harm to normal cells. Finally, we propose a novel idea to combine static magnetic field (SMF) with CAP as a tool for cancer therapy. The breast cancer cells MDA-MB-231 showed a significant decrease in viability after direct plasma treatment with SMF (compared to only plasma treatment). In addition, cancer cells treated by the CAP-SMF-activated media (indirect treatment) also showed viability decrease but slightly weaker than the direct plasma-MF treatment. When treated by plasma with MF, mouse wild type dermal fibroblasts (WTDF) show no difference from the plasma treatment, both directly and indirectly. By integrating the use of MF and CAP, we are able to discover their advantages that are yet to be utilized.Although plasma can selectively kill cancer cells, long time exposure can still damage the normal cells around the tumor. This prompts researchers to seek for novel ideas in the designing of plasma treatment. This study provides the idea of combining the proper dosage of cold atmospheric plasma, AuNPs and MF in order to achieve the enhanced killing effect on cancer cells.

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