Scientific reports

Non-thermal plasma-treated solution demonstrates antitumor activity against pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.

PMID 28814809


Pancreatic cancer is associated with a high mortality rate. In advanced stage, patients often experience peritoneal carcinomatosis. Using a syngeneic murine pancreatic cancer cell tumor model, the effect of non-thermal plasma (NTP) on peritoneal metastatic lesions was studied. NTP generates reactive species of several kinds which have been proven to be of relevance in cancer. In vitro, exposure to both plasma and plasma-treated solution significantly decreased cell viability and proliferation of 6606PDA cancer cells, whereas mouse fibroblasts were less affected. Repeated intraperitoneal treatment of NTP-conditioned medium decreased tumor growth in vivo as determined by magnetic resonance imaging, leading to reduced tumor mass and improved median survival (61 vs 52 days; p < 0.024). Tumor nodes treated by NTP-conditioned medium demonstrated large areas of apoptosis with strongly inhibited cell proliferation. Contemporaneously, no systemic effects were found. Apoptosis was neither present in the liver nor in the gut. Also, the concentration of different cytokines in splenocytes or blood plasma as well as the distribution of various hematological parameters remained unchanged following treatment with NTP-conditioned medium. These results suggest an anticancer role of NTP-treated solutions with little to no systemic side effects being present, making NTP-treated solutions a potential complementary therapeutic option for advanced tumors.