Plasma-activated liquids as promising tools for non-invasive selective treatment of epithelial ovarian cancer

Bucci, Cristiana (2023) Plasma-activated liquids as promising tools for non-invasive selective treatment of epithelial ovarian cancer, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze e tecnologie della salute, 35 Ciclo.
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Plasma medicine is a branch of plasma-promising biomedical applications that uses cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) as a therapeutic agent in treating a wide range of medical conditions including cancer. Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is a highly malignant and aggressive form of ovarian cancer, and most patients are diagnosed at advanced stages which significantly reduces the chances of successful treatment. Treatment resistance is also common, highlighting the need for novel therapies to be developed to treat EOC. Research in Plasma Medicine has revealed that plasma has unique properties suitable for biomedical applications and medical therapies, including responses to hormetic stimuli. However, the exact mechanisms by which CAP works at the molecular level are not yet fully understood. In this regard, the main goal of this thesis is to identify a possible adjuvant therapy for cancer, which could exert a cytotoxic effect, without damaging the surrounding healthy cells. An examination of different plasma-activated liquids (PALs) revealed their potential as effective tools for significantly inhibiting the growth of EOC. The dose-response profile between PALs and their targeted cytotoxic effects on EOC cells without affecting healthy cells was established. Additionally, it was validated that PALs exert distinct effects on different subtypes of EOC, possibly linked to the cells' metabolism. This suggests the potential for developing new, personalized anticancer strategies. Furthermore, it was observed that CAP treatment can alter the chemistry of a biomolecule present in PAL, impacting its cytotoxic activity. The effectiveness of the treatment was also preliminarily evaluated in 3D cultures, opening the door for further investigation of a possible correlation between the tumor microenvironment and PALs' resistance. These findings shed light on the intricate interplay between CAP and the liquid substrate and cell behaviour, providing valuable insights for the development of a novel and promising CAP-based cancer treatment for clinical application.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Bucci, Cristiana
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
epithelial ovarian cancer; cold atmospheric plasma; plasma-treated liquid; Ringer’s lactate; Ringer’s saline; reactive species
Data di discussione
20 Giugno 2023

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