Metal Compounds in Cancer Therapy

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Issue 2, Previous Article Next Article. From the journal: Chemical Society Reviews. Transition metal compounds as cancer radiosensitizers. Martin R.

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Introduction

The discovery of the antitumour activity of cisplatin in and its subsequent introduction into clinical trials in was the catalyst for a major international. Platinum drugs, such as cisplatin, carboplatin and oxaliplatin, are the mainstay of the metal-based compounds in the treatment of cancer, but.

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We do not store details you enter into this form. Please see our privacy policy for more information. Click here to return to the Medical News Today home page. At the moment, there are many different types of cancer treatment. These range from chemotherapy and radiation therapy to immunotherapy, which boosts the body's own defenses against cancer. However, scientists are always on the lookout for new and more efficient ways of targeting and eliminating tumors. Researchers from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom have recently conducted a new study.

The First Drug – Cisplatin

Its results suggest that using an approach called photodynamic therapy — which uses light particles to activate certain chemical compounds — could be effective against cancers. In the study — the findings of which now appear in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition — the scientists show that a compound of the metal iridium can cause cancer cells to destruct. When activated by light beams, the researchers explain, iridium attached to albumin — which is a protein present in blood — can selectively "turn on" oxidizing species in the nuclei of cancer cells.

These species are lethal oxygen molecules able to cause a cell to self-destruct. Peter Sadler. Sadler and team designed a special "coating" that allowed iridium to "link" with albumin. The new iridium compound acts as an effective photosensitizer, or a substance activated by light — in this instance, produced by optical fibers — which can target certain oxygen species within cancer cells, specifically.

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In this new approach, albumin helps deliver the iridium compound straight into the nuclei of cancer cells. Once this placement has occurred, the scientists activate the compound through exposure to light. Finally, the activated iridium compound "switches on" the deadly oxygen molecules inside the nuclei of the cancer cells, thereby destroying them from the inside. The researchers were able to track all these changes in real time through the use of a microscope, as the combined iridium and albumin became phosphorescent, and its progress was easy to track.

Also, as the scientists say in the published paper, the iridium and albumin combination "exhibited a long phosphorescence lifetime," and the product was effective "against a range of cancer cell lines. Imberti also states that the researchers were able to develop this promising compound thanks to the diversity of investigators on board and because of the important grants they received.