Organometallic Compounds in Cancer Therapy: Past Lessons and Future Directions
Armando J.L. Pombeiro,
Pedro Viana Baptista,
Alexandra R. Fernandes.
Over the past few years, modern medicinal chemistry has evolved towards providing us new and alternative chemotherapeutic
compounds with high cytotoxicity towards tumor cells, alongside with reduced side effects in cancer patients. Organometallic compounds
and their unique physic-chemical properties typically used in homogenous catalysis are now being translated as potential candidates for
medical purposes. Their structural diversity, ligand exchange, redox and catalytic properties make them promising drug candidates for
cancer therapy. Over the last decade this area has witnessed a steady growth and a few organometallic compounds have in fact already
entered clinical trials, emphasizing its increasing importance and clinical relevance. Here we intend to stress out the different applications
of organometallic compounds in medicine with emphasis on cancer therapy, as well as address setbacks regarding formulation issues,
systemic toxicity and off-target effects. Advantages over classical coordination metal complexes, their nanovectorisation and specific
molecular targets are also discussed.
Keywords: Cancer therapy, clinical trials, M-arenes, M-carbenes, M-carbonyls, metallocenes, nanovectorisation, organometallics
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