Cold atmospheric plasma treatment selectively targets head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells

Rafael Guerrero-Preston, Takenori Ogawa, Mamoru Uemura, Gary Shumulinsky, Blanca L. Valle, Francesca Pirini, Rajani Ravi, David Sidransky, Michael Keidar, Barry Trink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The treatment of locoregional recurrence (LRR) of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) often requires a combination of surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. Survival outcomes are poor and the treatment outcomes are morbid. Cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) is an ionized gas produced at room temperature under laboratory conditions. We have previously demonstrated that treatment with a CAP jet device selectively targets cancer cells using in vitro melanoma and in vivo bladder cancer models. In the present study, we wished to examine CAP selectivity in HNSCC in vitro models, and to explore its potential for use as a minimally invasive surgical approach that allows for specific cancer cell or tumor tissue ablation without affecting the surrounding healthy cells and tissues. Four HNSCC cell lines (JHU-022, JHU-028, JHU-029, SCC25) and 2 normal oral cavity epithelial cell lines (OKF6 and NOKsi) were subjected to cold plasma treatment for durations of 10, 30 and 45 sec, and a helium flow of 20 l/min-1 for 10 sec was used as a positive treatment control. We showed that cold plasma selectively diminished HNSCC cell viability in a dose-response manner, as evidenced by MTT assays; the viability of the OKF6 cells was not affected by the cold plasma. The results of colony formation assays also revealed a cell-specific response to cold plasma application. Western blot analysis did not provide evidence that the cleavage of PARP occurred following cold plasma treatment. In conclusion, our results suggest that cold plasma application selectively impairs HNSCC cell lines through non-apoptotic mechanisms, while having a minimal effect on normal oral cavity epithelial cell lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-946
Number of pages6
JournalInternational journal of molecular medicine
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2014

Keywords

  • Cold atmospheric plasma selectivity
  • Cold atmospheric plasma treatment
  • HPV-negative head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
  • HPV-positive head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
  • Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
  • Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma adjuvant treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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