Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Radiation Oncology

First Advisor

Dr. Siyong Kim

Second Advisor

Dr. Vasily Yakovlev

Third Advisor

Dr. Shiyu Song

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Yuichi Motai


Modern cancer treatment uses radiation therapy in over 50% of patient cases. It is an e↵ective way of treating tumors because the mechanisms of cell killing are well known through the damage that ionizing radiation does to DNA. The amount of radiation can be tracked through measuring the dose of the clinical photon or electron beam used. However, there are limitations in the usage of radiation therapy, for example, a tumor can create hypoxic areas that become radioresistant leading to complete ine↵ectiveness of further radiation treatment. This project looks into the application of cold atmospheric plasma as an adjuvant therapy that can be used alongside radiation therapy. Plasma is a mix of radicals, reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, electrons, heavy particles, and UV radiation. It can be used as a tool to reoxygenate hypoxic tumors while also using non- ionizing radiation to induce apoptosis in tumor cells. The project analyzed the treatment of A549 human lung, SKOV-3 human ovarian, TOV-21G human ovarian, EL4 mouse lymphoma and B16-F10 mouse melanoma at times ranging from 1 min to 30 min of irradiation through a number of methods including, trypan blue staining, western blot analysis, TUNEL assays and flow cytometry. After multiple iterations of the experiments, flow cytometry was able to quantify the number of early apoptotic and late apoptotic cells with irradiation times of 3 min, 5 min and 7 min. When comparing the control group with the 7 minute irradiation group, the number of apoptotic cells increased by 118% and showed a clear time dependence between irradiation time and the number of apoptotic cells.


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