The incidence of cutaneous malignant melanoma is increasing at a greater rate than that of any other cancer in the world. However, an effective therapy for malignant melanoma has not been established. Recently, some studies have shown an antitumor effect of non-equilibrium atmospheric pressure plasmas (NEAPPs) in vitro. Here, we examined the in vivo effect of NEAPP on cell cycle regulators, key elements for malignant transformation, in spontaneously developed benign melanocytic tumors in a hairless animal model. NEAPP irradiation decreased expression levels of cell cycle promoters, Cyclin D1, E1 and E2, and increased expression level of a cell cycle repressor, p27KIP1. Cyclin D1, E1 and E2 and p27KIP expression levels were associated with malignant transformation of the benign tumor in the animal model. Our results suggest that NEAPP irradiation suppresses malignant transformation of a benign melanocytic tumor via control of the expression levels of cell cycle regulators.
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