New Promising Treatment for Prostate Cancer Based on Low-Temperature Plasmas

New Promising Treatment for Prostate Cancer Based on Low-Temperature Plasmas
Researchers at the University of York, the University of Hull and the Castle Hill Hospital in the United Kingdom recently discovered a potential new therapeutic strategy for prostate cancer using low-temperature plasmas (LTPs). The study was published in the British Journal of Cancer and is entitled “Low-temperature plasma treatment induces DNA damage leading to necrotic cell death in primary prostate epithelial cells.” Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, with almost one million new cases diagnosed every year worldwide. In the United States, it is estimated that 220,800 new cases will be diagnosed in 2015. “Despite continual improvement and refinement, long term treatment for prostate cancer is still recognized as inadequate. In the case of early stage organ confined tumors, patients may be treated with a focal therapy, for example cryotherapy, photodynamic therapy, or radiotherapy,” explained the study’s first author Adam Hirst in a news release. Radiotherapy or photodynamic therapy are two common treatment strategies for localized prostate cancer, and their action is based on the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) for cytotoxic effects in cancer cells. However, the side effects experienced by patients and the fact that approximately one-third will experience cancer recurrence after therapy, strongly support the need for new treatment options. The field of LTPs has rapidly advanced in the last years, being considered a promising potential application in biomedicine, namely in cancer therapy. LTPs are formed by applying a high electric field across a gas using an electrode, breaking down the gas to form plasma and generating a unique environment with high levels of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS). RONs can the
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