Cold plasma selectivity and the possibility of a paradigm shift in cancer therapy

M. Keidar*, R. Walk, A. Shashurin, P. Srinivasan, A. Sandler, S. Dasgupta, R. Ravi, R. Guerrero-Preston, B. Trink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

623 Scopus citations


Background: Plasma is an ionised gas that is typically generated in high-temperature laboratory conditions. However, recent progress in atmospheric plasmas has led to the creation of cold plasmas with ion temperature close to room temperature. Methods: Both in-vitro and in-vivo studies revealed that cold plasmas selectively kill cancer cells. Results: We show that: (a) cold plasma application selectively eradicates cancer cells in vitro without damaging normal cells; and (b) significantly reduces tumour size in vivo. It is shown that reactive oxygen species metabolism and oxidative stress responsive genes are deregulated. Conclusion: The development of cold plasma tumour ablation has the potential of shifting the current paradigm of cancer treatment and enabling the transformation of cancer treatment technologies by utilisation of another state of matter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1295-1301
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number9
StatePublished - 25 Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • cancer treatment
  • cold plasma
  • tumour ablation


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