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Low-temperature plasma treatment induces DNA damage leading to necrotic cell death in primary prostate epithelial cells

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Publication details

JournalBritish journal of cancer
DateAccepted/In press - 3 Mar 2015
DateE-pub ahead of print - 2 Apr 2015
DatePublished (current) - 28 Apr 2015
Issue number9
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)1536-1545
Early online date2/04/15
Original languageEnglish


Background:In recent years, the rapidly advancing field of low-temperature atmospheric pressure plasmas has shown considerable promise for future translational biomedical applications, including cancer therapy, through the generation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species.Method:The cytopathic effect of low-temperature plasma was first verified in two commonly used prostate cell lines: BPH-1 and PC-3 cells. The study was then extended to analyse the effects in paired normal and tumour (Gleason grade 7) prostate epithelial cells cultured directly from patient tissue. Hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2) and staurosporine were used as controls throughout.Results:Low-temperature plasma (LTP) exposure resulted in high levels of DNA damage, a reduction in cell viability, and colony-forming ability. H 2 O 2 formed in the culture medium was a likely facilitator of these effects. Necrosis and autophagy were recorded in primary cells, whereas cell lines exhibited apoptosis and necrosis.Conclusions:This study demonstrates that LTP treatment causes cytotoxic insult in primary prostate cells, leading to rapid necrotic cell death. It also highlights the need to study primary cultures in order to gain more realistic insight into patient response.

    Research areas

  • low-temperature plasma, necrosis, primary epithelial cells, prostate cancer, reactive species


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