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Now showing 1 - 10 of 14
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    Cell cycle-related genes associate with sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide-induced toxicity
    (Amsterdam [u.a.] : Elsevier, 2022) Bekeschus, Sander; Liebelt, Grit; Menz, Jonas; Singer, Debora; Wende, Kristian; Schmidt, Anke
    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) are well-described agents in physiology and pathology. Chronic inflammation causes incessant H2O2 generation associated with disease occurrences such as diabetes, autoimmunity, and cancer. In cancer, conditioning of the tumor microenvironment, e.g., hypoxia and ROS generation, has been associated with disease outcomes and therapeutic efficacy. Many reports have investigated the roles of the action of H2O2 across many cell lines and disease models. The genes predisposing tumor cell lines to H2O2-mediated demise are less deciphered, however. To this end, we performed in-house transcriptional profiling of 35 cell lines and simultaneously investigated each cell line's H2O2 inhibitory concentration (IC25) based on metabolic activity. More than 100-fold differences were observed between the most resistant and sensitive cell lines. Correlation and gene ontology pathway analysis identified a rigid association with genes intertwined in cell cycle progression and proliferation, as such functional categories dominated the top ten significant processes. The ten most substantially correlating genes (Spearman r > 0.70 or < -0.70) were validated using qPCR, showing complete congruency with microarray analysis findings. Western blotting confirmed the correlation of cell cycle-related proteins negatively correlating with H2O2 IC25. Top genes related to ROS production or antioxidant defense were only modest in correlation (Spearman r > 0.40 or < -0.40). In conclusion, our in-house transcriptomic correlation analysis revealed a set of cell cycle-associated genes associated with a priori resistance or sensitivity to H2O2-induced cellular demise with the detailed and causative roles of individual genes remaining unclear.
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    Gas Plasma Exposure of Glioblastoma Is Cytotoxic and Immunomodulatory in Patient-Derived GBM Tissue
    (Basel : MDPI, 2022) Bekeschus, Sander; Ispirjan, Mikael; Freund, Eric; Kinnen, Frederik; Moritz, Juliane; Saadati, Fariba; Eckroth, Jacqueline; Singer, Debora; Stope, Matthias B.; Wende, Kristian; Ritter, Christoph A.; Schroeder, Henry W. S.; Marx, Sascha
    Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common primary malignant adult brain tumor. Therapeutic options for glioblastoma are maximal surgical resection, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Therapy resistance and tumor recurrence demand, however, new strategies. Several experimental studies have suggested gas plasma technology, a partially ionized gas that generates a potent mixture of reactive oxygen species (ROS), as a future complement to the existing treatment arsenal. However, aspects such as immunomodulation, inflammatory consequences, and feasibility studies using GBM tissue have not been addressed so far. In vitro, gas plasma generated ROS that oxidized cells and led to a treatment time-dependent metabolic activity decline and G2 cell cycle arrest. In addition, peripheral blood-derived monocytes were co-cultured with glioblastoma cells, and immunomodulatory surface expression markers and cytokine release were screened. Gas plasma treatment of either cell type, for instance, decreased the expression of the M2-macrophage marker CD163 and the tolerogenic molecule SIGLEC1 (CD169). In patient-derived GBM tissue samples exposed to the plasma jet kINPen ex vivo, apoptosis was significantly increased. Quantitative chemokine/cytokine release screening revealed gas plasma exposure to significantly decrease 5 out of 11 tested chemokines and cytokines, namely IL-6, TGF-β, sTREM-2, b-NGF, and TNF-α involved in GBM apoptosis and immunomodulation. In summary, the immuno-modulatory and proapoptotic action shown in this study might be an important step forward to first clinical observational studies on the future discovery of gas plasma technology’s potential in neurosurgery and neuro-oncology especially in putative adjuvant or combinatory GBM treatment settings.
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    Plasma treatment limits human melanoma spheroid growth and metastasis independent of the ambient gas composition
    (Basel : MDPI AG, 2020) Hasse, Sybille; Meder, Tita; Freund, Eric; Woedtke, Thomas von; Bekeschus, Sander
    Melanoma skin cancer is still a deadly disease despite recent advances in therapy. Previous studies have suggested medical plasma technology as a promising modality for melanoma treatment. However, the efficacy of plasmas operated under different ambient air conditions and the comparison of direct and indirect plasma treatments are mostly unexplored for this tumor entity. Moreover, exactly how plasma treatment affects melanoma metastasis has still not been explained. Using 3D tumor spheroid models and high-content imaging technology, we addressed these questions by utilizing one metastatic and one non-metastatic human melanoma cell line targeted with an argon plasma jet. Plasma treatment was toxic in both cell lines. Modulating the oxygen and nitrogen ambient air composition (100/0, 75/25, 50/50, 25/75, and 0/100) gave similar toxicity and reduced the spheroid growth for all conditions. This was the case for both direct and indirect treatments, with the former showing a treatment time-dependent response while the latter resulted in cytotoxicity with the longest treatment time investigated. Live-cell imaging of in-gel cultured spheroids indicated that plasma treatment did not enhance metastasis, and flow cytometry showed a significant modulation of S100A4 but not in any of the five other metastasis-related markers (β-catenin, E-cadherin, LEF1, SLUG, and ZEB1) investigated. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
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    Physical plasma-treated skin cancer cells amplify tumor cytotoxicity of human natural killer (NK) cells
    (Basel : MDPI AG, 2020) Clemen, Ramona; Heirman, Pepijn; Lin, Abraham; Bogaerts, Annemie; Bekeschus, Sander
    Skin cancers have the highest prevalence of all human cancers, with the most lethal forms being squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. Besides the conventional local treatment approaches like surgery and radiotherapy, cold physical plasmas are emerging anticancer tools. Plasma technology is used as a therapeutic agent by generating reactive oxygen species (ROS). Evidence shows that inflammation and adaptive immunity are involved in cancer-reducing effects of plasma treatment, but the role of innate immune cells is still unclear. Natural killer (NK)-cells interact with target cells via activating and inhibiting surface receptors and kill in case of dominating activating signals. In this study, we investigated the effect of cold physical plasma (kINPen) on two skin cancer cell lines (A375 and A431), with non-malignant HaCaT keratinocytes as control, and identified a plasma treatment time-dependent toxicity that was more pronounced in the cancer cells. Plasma treatment also modulated the expression of activating and inhibiting receptors more profoundly in skin cancer cells compared to HaCaT cells, leading to significantly higher NK-cell killing rates in the tumor cells. Together with increased pro-inflammatory mediators such as IL-6 and IL-8, we conclude that plasma treatment spurs stress responses in skin cancer cells, eventually augmenting NK-cell activity. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
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    Lack of Adverse Effects of Cold Physical Plasma-Treated Blood from Leukemia Patients: A Proof-of-Concept Study
    (Basel : MDPI, 2021) Golpour, Monireh; Alimohammadi, Mina; Mohseni, Alireza; Zaboli, Ehsan; Sohbatzadeh, Farshad; Bekeschus, Sander; Rafiei, Alireza
    Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is the most common blood malignancy with multiple therapeutic challenges. Cold physical plasma has been considered a promising approach in cancer therapy in recent years. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the cytotoxic effect of cold plasma or plasma-treated solutions (PTS) on hematologic parameters in the whole blood of CLL patients. The mean red blood cell count, white blood cell (WBC) count, platelet and hemoglobin counts, and peripheral blood smear images did not significantly differ between treated and untreated samples in either CLL or healthy individuals. However, both direct plasma and indirect PTS treatment increased lipid peroxidation and RNS deposition in the whole blood of CLL patients and in healthy subjects. In addition, the metabolic activity of WBCs was decreased with 120 s of cold plasma or PTS treatment after 24 h and 48 h. However, cold plasma and PTS treatment did not affect the prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, nor hemolysis in either CLL patients or in healthy individuals. The present study identifies the components of cold plasma to reach the blood without disturbing the basic parameters important in hematology, confirming the idea that the effect of cold plasma may not be limited to solid tumors and possibly extends to hematological disorders. Further cellular and molecular studies are needed to determine which cells in CLL patients are targeted by cold plasma or PTS.
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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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    Gas plasma-treated prostate cancer cells augment myeloid cell activity and cytotoxicity
    (Basel : MDPI, 2020) Bekeschus, Sander; Ressel, Verena; Freund, Eric; Gelbrich, Nadine; Mustea, Alexander; Stope, Matthias B.
    Despite recent improvements in cancer treatment, with many of them being related to foster antitumor immunity, tumor-related deaths continue to be high. Novel avenues are needed to complement existing therapeutic strategies in oncology. Medical gas plasma technology recently gained attention due to its antitumor activity. Gas plasmas act via the local deposition of a plethora of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that promote the oxidative cancer cell death. The immunological consequences of plasma-mediated tumor cell death are only poorly understood, however. To this end, we exposed two prostate cancer cell lines (LNCaP, PC3) to gas plasma in vitro, and investigated the immunomodulatory effects of the supernatants in as well as of direct co-culturing with two human myeloid cell lines (THP-1, HL-60). After identifying the cytotoxic action of the kINPen plasma jet, the supernatants of plasma-treated prostate cancer cells modulated myeloid cell-related mitochondrial ROS production and their metabolic activity, proliferation, surface marker expression, and cytokine release. Direct co-culture amplified differentiation-like surface marker expression in myeloid cells and promoted their antitumor-toxicity in the gas plasma over the untreated control conditions. The results suggest that gas plasma-derived ROS not only promote prostate cancer cell death but also augment myeloid cell activity and cytotoxicity. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
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    ROS Cocktails as an Adjuvant for Personalized Antitumor Vaccination?
    (Basel : MDPI, 2021) Clemen, Ramona; Bekeschus, Sander
    Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Today, the critical role of the immune system in tumor control is undisputed. Checkpoint antibody immunotherapy augments existing antitumor T cell activity with durable clinical responses in many tumor entities. Despite the presence of tumor-associated antigens and neoantigens, many patients have an insufficient repertoires of antitumor T cells. Autologous tumor vaccinations aim at alleviating this defect, but clinical success is modest. Loading tumor material into autologous dendritic cells followed by their laboratory expansion and therapeutic vaccination is promising, both conceptually and clinically. However, this process is laborious, time-consuming, costly, and hence less likely to solve the global cancer crisis. Therefore, it is proposed to re-focus on personalized anticancer vaccinations to enhance the immunogenicity of autologous therapeutic tumor vaccines. Recent work re-established the idea of using the alarming agents of the immune system, oxidative modifications, as an intrinsic adjuvant to broaden the antitumor T cell receptor repertoire in cancer patients. The key novelty is the use of gas plasma, a multi-reactive oxygen and nitrogen species-generating technology, for diversifying oxidative protein modifications in a, so far, unparalleled manner. This significant innovation has been successfully used in proof-of-concept studies and awaits broader recognition and implementation to explore its chances and limitations of providing affordable personalized anticancer vaccines in the future. Such multidisciplinary advance is timely, as the current COVID-19 crisis is inexorably reflecting the utmost importance of innovative and effective vaccinations in modern times.
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    Gas Plasma-Augmented Wound Healing in Animal Models and Veterinary Medicine
    (Basel : MDPI, 2021) Bekeschus, Sander; Kramer, Axel; Schmidt, Anke
    The loss of skin integrity is inevitable in life. Wound healing is a necessary sequence of events to reconstitute the body’s integrity against potentially harmful environmental agents and restore homeostasis. Attempts to improve cutaneous wound healing are therefore as old as humanity itself. Furthermore, nowadays, targeting defective wound healing is of utmost importance in an aging society with underlying diseases such as diabetes and vascular insufficiencies being on the rise. Because chronic wounds’ etiology and specific traits differ, there is widespread polypragmasia in targeting non-healing conditions. Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) are an overarching theme accompanying wound healing and its biological stages. ROS are signaling agents generated by phagocytes to inactivate pathogens. Although ROS/RNS’s central role in the biology of wound healing has long been appreciated, it was only until the recent decade that these agents were explicitly used to target defective wound healing using gas plasma technology. Gas plasma is a physical state of matter and is a partially ionized gas operated at body temperature which generates a plethora of ROS/RNS simultaneously in a spatiotemporally controlled manner. Animal models of wound healing have been vital in driving the development of these wound healing-promoting technologies, and this review summarizes the current knowledge and identifies open ends derived from in vivo wound models under gas plasma therapy. While gas plasma-assisted wound healing in humans has become well established in Europe, veterinary medicine is an emerging field with great potential to improve the lives of suffering animals.
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    Combination of Gas Plasma and Radiotherapy Has Immunostimulatory Potential and Additive Toxicity in Murine Melanoma Cells In Vitro
    (Basel : Molecular Diversity Preservation International, 2020) Pasqual-Melo, Gabriella; Sagwal, Sanjeev Kumar; Freund, Eric; Gandhirajan, Rajesh Kumar; Frey, Benjamin; von Woedtke, Thomas; Gaipl, Udo; Bekeschus, Sander
    Despite continuous advances in therapy, malignant melanoma is still among the deadliest types of cancer. At the same time, owing to its high plasticity and immunogenicity, melanoma is regarded as a model tumor entity when testing new treatment approaches. Cold physical plasma is a novel anticancer tool that utilizes a plethora of reactive oxygen species (ROS) being deposited on the target cells and tissues. To test whether plasma treatment would enhance the toxicity of an established antitumor therapy, ionizing radiation, we combined both physical treatment modalities targeting B16F10 murine melanoma cell in vitro. Repeated rather than single radiotherapy, in combination with gas plasma-introduced ROS, induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in an additive fashion. In tendency, gas plasma treatment sensitized the cells to subsequent radiotherapy rather than the other way around. This was concomitant with increased levels of TNFa, IL6, and GM-CSF in supernatants. Murine JAWS dendritic cells cultured in these supernatants showed an increased expression of cell surface activation markers, such as MHCII and CD83. For PD-L1 and PD-L2, increased expression was observed. Our results are the first to suggest an additive therapeutic effect of gas plasma and radiotherapy, and translational tumor models are needed to develop this concept further. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.