This study aimed to evaluate the effects of micron sized non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasma inside the animal body on breast cancer tumor. The μ-plasma jet consists of micron sized hollow tube in which pure helium gas is ionized by high voltage (4 kV) and high frequency (6 kHz). The efficiency of the plasma treatment in killing cancer cells was first investigated by cell viability measurements of treated 4T1 cells using flow cytometry and cell cycle analysis. For exploration of the in vivo effects of the plasma treatment, the BALB/c mice inoculated by 4T1 cell lines were exposed subcutaneously to plasma for 3 minutes. In addition, H&E staining, TUNEL and Western blotting assays were performed in order to observed the effects of the non-thermal plasma on the tumor cells. The results showed that the efficiency of the plasma in suppression of the tumor growth is comparable to that of a typical chemotherapy drug. Moreover, the results indicated that the plasma induces apoptosis in the tumor tissue and increases the ratio of the apoptotic to anti-apoptotic protein expression. We believe that these findings presented herein may extend our knowledge of the mechanisms by which the plasma exerts its promising anti-cancer effects.
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