Background: Although cisplatin and a number of platinum complexes have widely
been used for the treatment of neoplasia, patients receiving these treatments have frequently suffered
from their severe toxic side effects, the development of resistance with consequent relapse.
In the recent decades, numerous complexes of coinage metals including that of gold, copper and
silver have been reported to display promising in vitro and/or in vivo anti-cancer activities as well
as potent activities towards cisplatin-resistant tumors. Nevertheless, the medical development of
these metal complexes has been hampered by their instability in aqueous solutions and the nonspecific
binding in biological systems.
Methods: One of the approaches to overcome these problems is to design and develop adequate
drug delivery systems (DDSs) for the transport of these complexes. By functionalization, encapsulation
or formulation of the metal complexes, several types of DDSs have been reported to improve
the desired pharmacological profile of the metal complexes, improving their overall stability,
bioavailability, anti-cancer activity and reducing their toxicity towards normal cells.
Conclusion: In this review, we summarized the recent findings for different DDSs for various anti-
cancer active complexes of some coinage metals.