Background: The possible use of acridines as anticancer agents was first considered
in the 1920´s. Since then, a large number of acridine drugs have been tested as antitumour
agents, including compounds containing sulphur on the acridine chromophore. In this review,
we will discuss recent studies which have investigated the anticancer activity of this class of
Methods: We present the results both of our own decade-long research and also of existing
research literature into the anticancer activity of acridine derivatives containing sulphur. The
evidence of specific tumor-cell killing properties displayed by these compounds suggest the
potential of using such molecules as anticancer therapeutics.
Results: During the last decade, a number of acridine analogs have been developed by modifying
the position and the nature of the substituent on the acridine core. In this paper, we published
results on the anticancer activity of acridine derivatives containing sulfur (acridine thioureas,
acridine thiazolidine/thiazoidinone, and acridine thiosemicarbazones/ thiosemicarbazides).
In cancer chemotherapy, the mechanism of the drugs is complex, although the study of
the anticancer activity of acridines has yielded exciting results.
Conclusion: In this review we have summarized recent literature on the anticancer activity of
acridine derivatives containing sulfur. A considerable amount of published data suggests that
these compounds exhibit promising anticancer activity against selected cancer cell lines. The
obtained results can be helpful in the development of new pharmaceutical agents.