Synergy between Non-Thermal Plasma with Radiation Therapy and Olaparib in a Panel of Breast Cancer Cell Lines

Cancers (Basel). 2020 Feb 4;12(2):348. doi: 10.3390/cancers12020348.


Cancer therapy has evolved to a more targeted approach and often involves drug combinations to achieve better response rates. Non-thermal plasma (NTP), a technology rapidly expanding its application in the medical field, is a near room temperature ionized gas capable of producing reactive species, and can induce cancer cell death both in vitro and in vivo. Here, we used proliferation assay to characterize the plasma sensitivity of fourteen breast cancer cell lines. These assays showed that all tested cell lines were sensitive to NTP. In addition, a good correlation was found comparing cell sensitivity to NTP and radiation therapy (RT), where cells that were sensitive to RT were also sensitive to plasma. Moreover, in some breast cancer cell lines, NTP and RT have a synergistic effect. Adding a dose of PARP-inhibitor olaparib to NTP treatment always increases the efficacy of the treatment. Olaparib also exhibits a synergistic effect with NTP, especially in triple negative breast cancer cells. Results presented here help elucidate the position of plasma use as a potential breast cancer treatment.

Keywords: DNA-damage; PARP-inhibitor; breast cancer; non-thermal plasma; olaparib; radiation therapy; radio-frequency discharge.