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    Physical plasma-triggered ROS induces tumor cell death upon cleavage of HSP90 chaperone
    ([London] : Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature, 2019) Bekeschus, Sander; Lippert, Maxi; Diepold, Kristina; Chiosis, Gabriela; Seufferlein, Thomas; Azoitei, Ninel
    HSP90 is a ubiquitously expressed molecular chaperone implicated in the correct folding and maturation of a plethora of proteins including protein kinases and transcription factors. While disruption of chaperone activity was associated with augmented cancer cell death and decreased tumor growth both in vitro and in vivo, the regulation of HSP90 is not clearly understood. Here we report that treatment of cancer cells with cold physical plasma, an emerging and less aggressive tumor therapy, resulted in ROS generation which subsequently triggered the cleavage of HSP90. Notably, cleavage of HSP90 was followed by the degradation of PKD2, a crucial regulator of tumor growth and angiogenesis. Pre-sensitization of cancer cells with subliminal doses of PU-H71, an HSP90 inhibitor currently under clinical evaluation, followed by treatment with cold-plasma, synergistically and negatively impacted on the viability of cancer cells. Taken together, cold-plasma can be used in conjunction with pharmacologic treatment in order to target the expression and activity of HSP90 and the downstream client proteins implicated in various cancer cell capabilities.
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    Physical plasma-treated saline promotes an immunogenic phenotype in CT26 colon cancer cells in vitro and in vivo
    ([London] : Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature, 2019) Freund, Eric; Liedtke, Kim Rouven; van der Linde, Julia; Metelmann, Hans-Robert; Heidecke, Claus-Dieter; Partecke, Lars-Ivo; Bekeschus, Sander
    Metastatic colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death. Current options in palliation such as hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) present severe side effects. Recent research efforts suggested the therapeutic use of oxidant-enriched liquid using cold physical plasma. To investigate a clinically accepted treatment regimen, we assessed the antitumor capacity of plasma-treated saline solution. In response to such liquid, CT26 murine colon cancer cells were readily oxidized and showed cell growth with subsequent apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, and upregulation of immunogenic cell death (ICD) markers in vitro. This was accompanied by marked morphological changes with re-arrangement of actin fibers and reduced motility. Induction of an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition phenotype was not observed. Key results were confirmed in MC38 colon and PDA6606 pancreatic cancer cells. Compared to plasma-treated saline, hydrogen peroxide was inferiorly toxic in 3D tumor spheroids but of similar efficacy in 2D models. In vivo, plasma-treated saline decreased tumor burden in Balb/C mice. This was concomitant with elevated numbers of intratumoral macrophages and increased T cell activation following incubation with CT26 cells ex vivo. Being a potential adjuvant for HIPEC therapy, our results suggest oxidizing saline solutions to inactivate colon cancer cells while potentially stimulating antitumor immune responses.