An overview of anticancer active (arene)ruthenium(II) complexes coordinated to period 2
element-based ligand systems, i.e., carbon-, nitrogen-, and oxygen-coordinated ligands, is provided in
this mini-review. A bridge is forged from the large group of anticancer active ruthenium compounds
with monodentate and chelating nitrogen ligands via complexes of O,O-chelating ligands to
organometallic ruthenium derivatives coordinated to carbon. (Arene)ruthenium(II) complexes with
reduced side-effects and enhanced efficacy against cancer are highlighted. Pertinent literature is
covered up to 2014.