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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 878319, 15 pages
Review Article

Low Temperature Plasma: A Novel Focal Therapy for Localized Prostate Cancer?

1Department of Physics, York Plasma Institute, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK
2YCR Cancer Research Unit, Department of Biology, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK

Received 16 December 2013; Accepted 6 February 2014; Published 13 March 2014

Academic Editor: Giovanni Luca Gravina

Copyright © 2014 Adam M. Hirst et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Despite considerable advances in recent years for the focal treatment of localized prostate cancer, high recurrence rates and detrimental side effects are still a cause for concern. In this review, we compare current focal therapies to a potentially novel approach for the treatment of early onset prostate cancer: low temperature plasma. The rapidly evolving plasma technology has the potential to deliver a wide range of promising medical applications via the delivery of plasma-induced reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. Studies assessing the effect of low temperature plasma on cell lines and xenografts have demonstrated DNA damage leading to apoptosis and reduction in cell viability. However, there have been no studies on prostate cancer, which is an obvious candidate for this novel therapy. We present here the potential of low temperature plasma as a focal therapy for prostate cancer.