Polynuclear compounds are a relatively new and successful approach in metal-based cancer chemotherapy as typified by the trinuclear Pt compound BBR3464 which was evaluated in clinical trials. In this review, we discuss newer developments of polynuclear ruthenium, osmium and gold complexes, focusing on their anticancer activity. The compounds presented are often supposed to exert their anticancer activity by different modes of action as compared to established drugs, including newly proposed mechanisms such as enzyme inhibition, crosslinking of biomacromolecules or through photo-activation, though many of the examples are also capable of binding to DNA nucleobases. Important metabolization and chemical characteristics of such compounds are discussed, and if the appropriate data is available, molecular modes of action are highlighted.
Keywords: Bioorganometallics, cancer chemotherapy, coordination compounds, mode of action, polynuclear complexes, metalloclusters, Polynuclear compounds, trinuclear Pt compound BBR3464, polynuclear ruthenium, osmium and gold complexes, enzyme inhibition, crosslinking, photo-activation, DNA nucleobases, modes of action, Osmium and Gold Complexes