The present mini-review highlights recent developments on antitumor
activity of metal-based therapeutics which have been a subject of researches for the
last few decades. In 1965, Rosenberg found that during an electrolysis on platinum
electrodes a complex of Pt is generated which inhibited to a great extent a binary
fission in Escherichia coli bacteria. This discovery started a new chapter in
medicinal chemistry and the interesting properties of cisplatin were soon applied in
cancer therapy especially in curing genitourinary tumors. However, various side
effects limited its use in medical treatment. Since then a great number of other
metal-organic complexes based on platinum, palladium, ruthenium, gold, copper,
silver, rhodium, osmium, rhenium, iridium and others have been synthesized.
Among them, NAMI-A and KP1019 have recently undergone clinical trials. In this review paper we
report a detailed account of metal complexes with phosphorus-based ligands which are of particular
interest in therapeutics.
Keywords: Anticancer agents, copper, gold, metal complexes, palladium, phosphorus, platinum, ruthenium, therapeutics.
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