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Now showing 1 - 10 of 14
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    Molecular mechanisms of the efficacy of cold atmospheric pressure plasma (CAP) in cancer treatment
    (Basel : MDPI AG, 2020) Semmler, Marie Luise; Bekeschus, Sander; Schäfer, Mirijam; Bernhardt, Thoralf; Fischer, Tobias; Witzke, Katharina; Seebauer, Christian; Rebl, Henrike; Grambow, Eberhard; Vollmar, Brigitte; Nebe, J. Barbara; Metelmann, Hans-Robert; Woedtke, Thomas von; Emmert, Steffen; Boeckmann, Lars
    Recently, the potential use of cold atmospheric pressure plasma (CAP) in cancer treatment has gained increasing interest. Especially the enhanced selective killing of tumor cells compared to normal cells has prompted researchers to elucidate the molecular mechanisms for the efficacy of CAP in cancer treatment. This review summarizes the current understanding of how CAP triggers intracellular pathways that induce growth inhibition or cell death. We discuss what factors may contribute to the potential selectivity of CAP towards cancer cells compared to their non-malignant counterparts. Furthermore, the potential of CAP to trigger an immune response is briefly discussed. Finally, this overview demonstrates how these concepts bear first fruits in clinical applications applying CAP treatment in head and neck squamous cell cancer as well as actinic keratosis. Although significant progress towards understanding the underlying mechanisms regarding the efficacy of CAP in cancer treatment has been made, much still needs to be done with respect to different treatment conditions and comparison of malignant and non-malignant cells of the same cell type and same donor. Furthermore, clinical pilot studies and the assessment of systemic effects will be of tremendous importance towards bringing this innovative technology into clinical practice. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
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    Tumor cytotoxicity and immunogenicity of a novel V-jet neon plasma source compared to the kINPen
    (London : Nature Publishing Group, 2021) Miebach, Lea; Freund, Eric; Horn, Stefan; Niessner, Felix; Sagwal, Sanjeev Kumar; von Woedtke, Thomas; Emmert, Steffen; Weltmann, Klaus-Dieter; Clemen, Ramona; Schmidt, Anke; Gerling, Torsten; Bekeschus, Sander
    Recent research indicated the potential of cold physical plasma in cancer therapy. The plethora of plasma-derived reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) mediate diverse antitumor effects after eliciting oxidative stress in cancer cells. We aimed at exploiting this principle using a newly designed dual-jet neon plasma source (Vjet) to treat colorectal cancer cells. A treatment time-dependent ROS/RNS generation induced oxidation, growth retardation, and cell death within 3D tumor spheroids were found. In TUM-CAM, a semi in vivo model, the Vjet markedly reduced vascularized tumors' growth, but an increase of tumor cell immunogenicity or uptake by dendritic cells was not observed. By comparison, the argon-driven single jet kINPen, known to mediate anticancer effects in vitro, in vivo, and in patients, generated less ROS/RNS and terminal cell death in spheroids. In the TUM-CAM model, however, the kINPen was equivalently effective and induced a stronger expression of immunogenic cancer cell death (ICD) markers, leading to increased phagocytosis of kINPen but not Vjet plasma-treated tumor cells by dendritic cells. Moreover, the Vjet was characterized according to the requirements of the DIN-SPEC 91315. Our results highlight the plasma device-specific action on cancer cells for evaluating optimal discharges for plasma cancer treatment.
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    Plasma treatment limits cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma development in vitro and in vivo
    (Basel : MDPI AG, 2020) Pasqual-Melo, Gabriella; Nascimento, Thiago; Sanches, Larissa Juliani; Blegniski, Fernanda Paschoal; Bianchi, Julya Karen; Sagwal, Sanjeev Kumar; Berner, Julia; Schmidt, Anke; Emmert, Steffen; Weltmann, Klaus-Dieter; Woedtke, Thomas von; Gandhirajan, Rajesh Kumar; Cecchini, Alessandra Lourenço; Bekeschus, Sander
    Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most prevalent cancer worldwide, increasing the cost of healthcare services and with a high rate of morbidity. Its etiology is linked to chronic ultraviolet (UV) exposure that leads to malignant transformation of keratinocytes. Invasive growth and metastasis are severe consequences of this process. Therapy-resistant and highly aggressive SCC is frequently fatal, exemplifying the need for novel treatment strategies. Cold physical plasma is a partially ionized gas, expelling therapeutic doses of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species that were investigated for their anticancer capacity against SCC in vitro and SCC-like lesions in vivo. Using the kINPen argon plasma jet, a selective growth-reducing action of plasma treatment was identified in two SCC cell lines in 2D and 3D cultures. In vivo, plasma treatment limited the progression of UVB-induced SSC-like skin lesions and dermal degeneration without compromising lesional or non-lesional skin. In lesional tissue, this was associated with a decrease in cell proliferation and the antioxidant transcription factor Nrf2 following plasma treatment, while catalase expression was increased. Analysis of skin adjacent to the lesions and determination of global antioxidant parameters confirmed the local but not systemic action of the plasma anticancer therapy in vivo. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
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    Combining Biocompatible and Biodegradable Scaffolds and Cold Atmospheric Plasma for Chronic Wound Regeneration
    (Basel : Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI), 2021) Emmert, Steffen; Pantermehl, Sven; Foth, Aenne; Waletzko-Hellwig, Janine; Hellwig, Georg; Bader, Rainer; Illner, Sabine; Grabow, Niels; Bekeschus, Sander; Weltmann, Klaus-Dieter; Jung, Ole; Boeckmann, Lars
    Skin regeneration is a quite complex process. Epidermal differentiation alone takes about 30 days and is highly regulated. Wounds, especially chronic wounds, affect 2% to 3% of the elderly population and comprise a heterogeneous group of diseases. The prevailing reasons to develop skin wounds include venous and/or arterial circulatory disorders, diabetes, or constant pressure to the skin (decubitus). The hallmarks of modern wound treatment include debridement of dead tissue, disinfection, wound dressings that keep the wound moist but still allow air exchange, and compression bandages. Despite all these efforts there is still a huge treatment resistance and wounds will not heal. This calls for new and more efficient treatment options in combination with novel biocompatible skin scaffolds. Cold atmospheric pressure plasma (CAP) is such an innovative addition to the treatment armamentarium. In one CAP application, antimicrobial effects, wound acidification, enhanced microcirculations and cell stimulation can be achieved. It is evident that CAP treatment, in combination with novel bioengineered, biocompatible and biodegradable electrospun scaffolds, has the potential of fostering wound healing by promoting remodeling and epithelialization along such temporarily applied skin replacement scaffolds.
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    Therapeutic ROS and Immunity in Cancer-The TRIC-21 Meeting
    (Basel : MDPI, 2021) Bekeschus, Sander; Emmert, Steffen; Clemen, Ramona; Boeckmann, Lars
    The first Therapeutic ROS and Immunity in Cancer (TRIC) meeting was organized by the excellence research center ZIK plasmatis (with its previous Frontiers in Redox Biochemistry and Medicine (FiRBaM) and Young Professionals' Workshop in Plasma Medicine (YPWPM) workshop series in Northern Germany) and the excellence research program ONKOTHER-H (Rostock/Greifswald, Germany). The meeting showcased cutting-edge research and liberated discussions on the application of therapeutic ROS and immunology in cancer treatment, primarily focusing on gas plasma technology. The 2-day hybrid meeting took place in Greifswald and online from 15-16 July 2021, facilitating a wide range of participants totaling 66 scientists from 12 countries and 5 continents. The meeting aimed at bringing together researchers from a variety of disciplines, including chemists, biochemists, biologists, engineers, immunologists, physicists, and physicians for interdisciplinary discussions on using therapeutic ROS and medical gas plasma technology in cancer therapy with the four main sessions: "Plasma, Cancer, Immunity", "Plasma combination therapies", "Plasma risk assessment and patients studies", and "Plasma mechanisms and treated liquids in cancer". This conference report outlines the abstracts of attending scientists submitted to this meeting.
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    Ex Vivo Exposure of Human Melanoma Tissue to Cold Physical Plasma Elicits Apoptosis and Modulates Inflammation
    (Basel : MDPI, 2020) Bekeschus, Sander; Moritz, Juliane; Helfrich, Iris; Boeckmann, Lars; Weltmann, Klaus-Dieter; Emmert, Steffen; Metelmann, Hans-Robert; Stoffels, Ingo; von Woedtke, Thomas
    Cutaneous melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer with a not-sufficient clinical outcome. High tumor mutation rates often hamper a remedial treatment, creating the need for palliative care in many patients. To reduce pain and burden, local palliation often includes cryo-ablation, immunotherapy via injection of IL2, or electrochemotherapy. Yet, a fraction of patients and lesions do not respond to those therapies. To reach even these resistances in a redox-mediated way, we treated skin biopsies from human melanoma ex vivo with cold physical plasma (kINPen MED plasma jet). This partially ionized gas generates a potent mixture of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Physical plasmas have been shown to be potent antitumor agents in preclinical melanoma and clinical head and neck cancer research. The innovation of this technology lies in its ease-of-use without anesthesia, as the “cold” plasma temperature of the kINPen MED does not exceed 37 °C. In metastatic melanoma skin biopsies from six patients, we identified a marked increase of apoptosis with plasma treatment ex vivo. This had an impact on the chemokine/cytokine profile of the cultured biopsies, e.g., three of six patient-derived biopsy supernatants showed an apparent decrease in VEGF compared to non-plasma treated specimens. Moreover, the baseline release levels of 24 chemokines/cytokines investigated may serve as a useful tool for future research on melanoma skin biopsy treatments. Our findings suggest a clinically useful role of cold physical plasma therapy in palliation of cutaneous melanoma lesions, possibly in a combinatory setting with other immune therapies.
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    Cold Atmospheric Pressure Plasma in Wound Healing and Cancer Treatment
    (Basel : MDPI, 2020) Boeckmann, Lars; Schäfer, Mirijam; Bernhardt, Thoralf; Semmler, Marie Luise; Jung, Ole; Ojak, Gregor; Fischer, Tobias; Peters, Kirsten; Nebe, Barbara; Müller-Hilke, Brigitte; Seebauer, Christian; Bekeschus, Sander; Emmert, Steffen
    Plasma medicine is gaining increasing attention and is moving from basic research into clinical practice. While areas of application are diverse, much research has been conducted assessing the use of cold atmospheric pressure plasma (CAP) in wound healing and cancer treatment—two applications with entirely different goals. In wound healing, a tissue-stimulating effect is intended, whereas cancer therapy aims at killing malignant cells. In this review, we provide an overview of the latest clinical and some preclinical research on the efficacy of CAP in wound healing and cancer therapy. Furthermore, we discuss the current understanding of molecular signaling mechanisms triggered by CAP that grant CAP its antiseptic and tissue regenerating or anti-proliferative and cell death-inducing properties. For the efficacy of CAP in wound healing, already substantial evidence from clinical studies is available, while evidence for therapeutic effects of CAP in oncology is mainly from in vitro and in vivo animal studies. Efforts to elucidate the mode of action of CAP suggest that different components, such as ultraviolet (UV) radiation, electromagnetic fields, and reactive species, may act synergistically, with reactive species being regarded as the major effector by modulating complex and concentration-dependent redox signaling pathways.
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    Medical Gas Plasma Treatment in Head and Neck Cancer—Challenges and Opportunities
    (Basel : MDPI, 2020) Berner, Julia; Seebauer, Christian; Sagwal, Sanjeev Kumar; Boeckmann, Lars; Emmert, Steffen; Metelmann, Hans-Robert; Bekeschus, Sander
    Despite progress in oncotherapy, cancer is still among the deadliest diseases in the Western world, emphasizing the demand for novel treatment avenues. Cold physical plasma has shown antitumor activity in experimental models of, e.g., glioblastoma, colorectal cancer, breast carcinoma, osteosarcoma, bladder cancer, and melanoma in vitro and in vivo. In addition, clinical case reports have demonstrated that physical plasma reduces the microbial contamination of severely infected tumor wounds and ulcerations, as is often seen with head and neck cancer patients. These antimicrobial and antitumor killing properties make physical plasma a promising tool for the treatment of head and neck cancer. Moreover, this type of cancer is easily accessible from the outside, facilitating the possibility of several rounds of topical gas plasma treatment of the same patient. Gas plasma treatment of head and neck cancer induces diverse effects via the deposition of a plethora of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species that mediate redox-biochemical processes, and ultimately, selective cancer cell death. The main advantage of medical gas plasma treatment in oncology is the lack of adverse events and significant side effects compared to other treatment modalities, such as surgical approaches, chemotherapeutics, and radiotherapy, making plasma treatment an attractive strategy for the adjuvant and palliative treatment of head and neck cancer. This review outlines the state of the art and progress in investigating physical plasma as a novel treatment modality in the therapy of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
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    xCT (SLC7A11) expression confers intrinsic resistance to physical plasma treatment in tumor cells
    (Amsterdam [u.a.] : Elsevier, 2020) Bekeschus, Sander; Eisenmann, Sebastian; Sagwal, Sanjeev Kumar; Bodnar, Yana; Moritz, Juliane; Poschkamp, Broder; Stoffels, Ingo; Emmert, Steffen; Madesh, Muniswamy; Weltmann, Klaus-Dieter; von Woedtke, Thomas; Gandhirajan, Rajesh Kumar
    Cold physical plasma is a partially ionized gas investigated as a new anticancer tool in selectively targeting cancer cells in monotherapy or in combination with therapeutic agents. Here, we investigated the intrinsic resistance mechanisms of tumor cells towards physical plasma treatment. When analyzing the dose-response relationship to cold plasma-derived oxidants in 11 human cancer cell lines, we identified four 'resistant' and seven 'sensitive' cell lines. We observed stable intracellular glutathione levels following plasma treatment only in the 'resistant' cell lines indicative of altered antioxidant mechanisms. Assessment of proteins involved in GSH metabolism revealed cystine-glutamate antiporter xCT (SLC7A11) to be significantly more abundant in the 'resistant' cell lines as compared to 'sensitive' cell lines. This decisive role of xCT was confirmed by pharmacological and genetic inhibition, followed by cold physical plasma treatment. Finally, microscopy analysis of ex vivo plasma-treated human melanoma punch biopsies suggested a correlation between apoptosis and basal xCT protein abundance. Taken together, our results demonstrate that xCT holds the potential as a biomarker predicting the sensitivity of tumor cells towards plasma treatment.
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    Small Molecules in the Treatment of Squamous Cell Carcinomas: Focus on Indirubins
    (Basel : MDPI, 2021) Schäfer, Mirijam; Semmler, Marie Luise; Bernhardt, Thoralf; Fischer, Tobias; Kakkassery, Vinodh; Ramer, Robert; Hein, Martin; Bekeschus, Sander; Langer, Peter; Hinz, Burkhard; Emmert, Steffen; Boeckmann, Lars
    Skin cancers are the most common malignancies in the world. Among the most frequent skin cancer entities, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) ranks second (~20%) after basal cell carcinoma (~77%). In early stages, a complete surgical removal of the affected tissue is carried out as standard therapy. To treat advanced and metastatic cancers, targeted therapies with small molecule inhibitors are gaining increasing attention. Small molecules are a heterogeneous group of protein regulators, which are produced by chemical synthesis or fermentation. The majority of them belong to the group of receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors (RTKIs), which specifically bind to certain RTKs and directly influence the respective signaling pathway. Knowledge of characteristic molecular alterations in certain cancer entities, such as SCC, can help identify tumor-specific substances for targeted therapies. Most frequently, altered genes in SCC include TP53, NOTCH, EGFR, and CCND1. For example, the gene CCND1, which codes for cyclin D1 protein, is upregulated in nearly half of SCC cases and promotes proliferation of affected cells. A treatment with the small molecule 5'-nitroindirubin-monoxime (INO) leads to inhibition of cyclin D1 and thus inhibition of proliferation. As a component of Danggui Longhui Wan, a traditional Chinese medicine, indirubins are used to treat chronic diseases and have been shown to inhibit inflammatory reactions. Indirubins are pharmacologically relevant small molecules with proapoptotic and antiproliferative activity. In this review, we discuss the current literature on indirubin-based small molecules in cancer treatment. A special focus is on the molecular biology of squamous cell carcinomas, their alterations, and how these are rendered susceptible to indirubin-based small molecule inhibitors. The potential molecular mechanisms of the efficacy of indirubins in killing SCC cells will be discussed as well.