Archives of Pharmacal Research

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 1–9 | Cite as

Mechanisms of a novel anticancer therapeutic strategy involving atmospheric pressure plasma-mediated apoptosis and DNA strand break formation

  • Woo-Hyun Chung


Atmospheric pressure plasma has been developed for a variety of biomedical applications due to its chemically reactive components. Recently, the plasma has emerged as a promising novel cancer therapy based on its ability to selectively ablate cancer cells while leaving normal cells essentially unaffected. The therapeutic effect of plasma is attributed to intracellular generation of reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) leading to mitochondria-mediated apoptosis and to activation of the DNA damage checkpoint signaling pathway via severe DNA strand break formation. However, the biochemical mechanisms responsible for appropriate activation of these physiological events and which pathway is more crucial for plasma-mediated cytotoxicity have not been clarified. Understanding the molecular link between ROS/RNS-mediated apoptosis and DNA damage-involved chromosome instability is critical for the development of more efficacious therapeutic strategies for selective killing of diverse cancer cells.


Atmospheric pressure plasma Anticancer therapy ROS/RNS generation Apoptosis DNA strand break 



This research was supported by the Duksung Women’s University Research Grants 2014.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interests.


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© The Pharmaceutical Society of Korea 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of PharmacyDuksung Women’s UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.Innovative Drug CenterDuksung Women’s UniversitySeoulKorea

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