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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, Volume 52, Issue 42, August 2019, Article number 423001.

The published version is available at Copyright © IOP Publishing


Recent advances in biomedical research in cancer immunotherapy have identified the use of an oxidative stress-based approach to treat cancers, which works by inducing immunogenic cell death (ICD) in cancer cells. Since the anti-cancer effects of non-thermal plasma (NTP) are largely attributed to the reactive oxygen and nitrogen species that are delivered to and generated inside the target cancer cells, it is reasonable to postulate that NTP would be an effective modality for ICD induction. NTP treatment of tumors has been shown to destroy cancer cells rapidly and, under specific treatment regimens, this leads to systemic tumor-specific immunity. The translational benefit of NTP for treatment of cancer relies on its ability to enhance the interactions between NTP-exposed tumor cells and local immune cells which initiates subsequent protective immune responses. This review discusses results from recent investigations of NTP application to induce immunogenic cell death in cancer cells. With further optimization of clinical devices and treatment protocols, NTP can become an essential part of the therapeutic armament against cancer.

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