Zinc rivals platinum in the fight against cancer

New zinc complexes that show promising anticancer activity could be used as an alternative to platinum based drugs, claim Italian scientists.

Platinum-based drugs, such as cisplatin, are effective chemotherapy agents but they cause nasty side effects and tumours can become resistant to them. New inorganic complexes based on metals such as gold and titanium have recently been proposed as effective alternatives for chemotherapy. Now, Daniela Pucci at the University of Calabria, has discovered that low cost zinc complexes show promising anticancer activity. 

The zinc(II) ion has a variety of physiological roles and Zn(II) complexes are used in many biological fields, including as radioprotective agents and antidiabetic insulin-mimetics but the toxicity of zinc-based compounds against human cancer cell lines has not been investigated until now. 'Zinc is a low cost, biocompatible metal with a large coordinative chemistry, interesting photophysical properties and is very promising for inorganic medicinal chemistry,' says Pucci. Read Full Story>>

Source <http://www.rsc.org>