A new era of metal-based drugs started in the 1960s, heralded by the discovery of potent platinum-based complexes, commencing with cisplatin [(H3
], which are effective anti-cancer chemotherapeutic drugs. While clinical applications of gold-based drugs largely relate to the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, attention has turned to the investigation of the efficacy of gold(I) and gold(III) compounds for anti-cancer applications. This review article provides an account of the latest research conducted during the last decade or so on the development of gold compounds and their potential activities against several cancers as well as a summary of possible mechanisms of action/biological targets. The promising activities and increasing knowledge of gold-based drug metabolism ensures that continued efforts will be made to develop gold-based anti-cancer agents.
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