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Issue 31, 2011
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Ruthenium anticancer compounds: myths and realities of the emerging metal-based drugs

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Abstract

Ruthenium anticancer drugs have attracted an increasing interest in the last 20 years and two of them have entered clinical trials. Compared to platinum drugs, the complexes based on ruthenium are often identified as less toxic and capable of overcoming the resistance induced by platinum drugs in cancer cells. These activities were attributed to the transportation to tumour cells by transferrin and to the selective activation to more reactive species by the reducing environment of solid tumours as compared to healthy tissues. Ruthenium anticancer drugs have been almost always designed to mimic platinum drugs, particularly for targeting DNA. Indeed, none of the above properties has never been clearly demonstrated even for the ruthenium drugs that entered clinical trials. The suggestion for the future is to change the perspective when designing new chemical entities, abandoning the philosophy that guided the actual panel of ruthenium drugs and to look further into the fine mechanism by which the most relevant ruthenium complexes available kill the target tumour cells, then focusing on targets selective of tumour cells and responsible for cell growth and malignancy.

Graphical abstract: Ruthenium anticancer compounds: myths and realities of the emerging metal-based drugs

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Dec 2010, accepted on 12 Apr 2011 and first published on 01 Jun 2011


Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C0DT01816C
Citation: Dalton Trans., 2011,40, 7817-7823
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    Ruthenium anticancer compounds: myths and realities of the emerging metal-based drugs

    A. Bergamo and G. Sava, Dalton Trans., 2011, 40, 7817
    DOI: 10.1039/C0DT01816C

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