C2D2 research 1a - Plasmas: A key enabler for cancer therapeutics?

Project: Other projectOther internal award

Project Details

Layman's description

The unique properties of cold non‐equilibrium plasmas have been identified as having enormous potential in, for example, disease therapeutics and plasma
pharmacology as drug alternatives. This project will seek to identify how this technique can be exploited to eradicate the cancer stem cells that are believed to be the tumour initiating cells and also the seed to radio‐resistance in prostate cancer. The pooling of world‐class expertise and facilities across departmental boundaries will generate internationally unique capabilities, placing the University of York at the frontier of this emerging field.

Key findings

"Low Temperature Plasma – A Novel Focal Therapy for Localized Prostate Cancer?”
Adam M Hirst, Fiona M Frame, N.J. Maitland and Deborah O'Connell.
BioMed Research International (2014) 878319. doi: 10.1155/2014/878319

Publications accepted:
"Low Temperature Plasma Causes Double-Strand Break DNA Damage Primary Epithelial Cells Cultured from a Human Prostate Tumour"
Adam M. Hirst, Fiona M. Frame, Norman J. Maitland and Deborah O’Connell
IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, accepted

Invited talks:
First International Workshop on Plasma for Cancer Treatment (2014), Washington, USA
"Low Temperature Plasma Treatment of Prostate Cancer Cell Lines and Primary Cells"

We have demonstrated that low-temperature plasmas induce DNA damage and reduce prostate cancer cell viability.
•Time response study of plasma-induced DNA damage in PC3 prostate cancer cell lines, illustrates an average DNA damage of 80% after 3 minutes.
•Clonogenic recovery following plasma treatment shows a reduced survival fraction of 0.25 for 10 minute treatment after culturing for 12 days.
•First interactions of low temperature plasmas with primary tissue, and first evidence of plasma induced DNA damage (median value (56.9 +8.4, -12.2)% evaluated by Comet assays) in primary prostate cancer cells (Gleason grade 9).
•First interactions of cold plasmas with prostate stem cells (Gleason grade 9) and high levels of DNA damage observed (94.2 +4.3, -2.8)% after 10 minutes plasma exposure.

York Plasma Institute (YPI), Department of Physics, University of York and Yorkshire Cancer Research Cancer Research Unit (YCR CRU), Department of Biology, University of York

Deborah O'Connell (PI), Norman Maitland (CI), Fiona Frame (PDRA), Adam Hirst (PhD student October 2013 - October 2016)


Directly related:
EPSRC Developing Research Leaders (£297,827) PI: D. O’Connell (YPI), May 2012 - May 2014
Effective start/end date1/03/1230/09/12