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Designing Ruthenium Anticancer Drugs: What Have We Learnt from the Key Drug Candidates?

Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
School of Pharmacy, Institute of Clinical Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Inorganics 2019, 7(3), 31;
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
After nearly 20 years of research on the use of ruthenium in the fight against cancer, only two Ru(III) coordination complexes have advanced to clinical trials. During this time, the field has produced excellent candidate drugs with outstanding in vivo and in vitro activity; however, we have yet to find a ruthenium complex that would be a viable alternative to platinum drugs currently used in the clinic. We aimed to explore what we have learned from the most prominent complexes in the area, and to challenge new concepts in chemical design. Particularly relevant are studies involving NKP1339, NAMI-A, RM175, and RAPTA-C, which have paved the way for current research. We explored the development of the ruthenium anticancer field considering that the mechanism of action of complexes no longer focuses solely on DNA interactions, but explores a diverse range of cellular targets involving multiple chemical strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: ruthenium; anticancer; metal complex ruthenium; anticancer; metal complex
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Coverdale, J.P.C.; Laroiya-McCarron, T.; Romero-Canelón, I. Designing Ruthenium Anticancer Drugs: What Have We Learnt from the Key Drug Candidates? Inorganics 2019, 7, 31.

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