Russian Researchers Proposed New Class of The Anti Cancer Drugs

  • The drugs proposed are based on using palladium and platinum.
  • Globally there will be 27.5 million new cancer cases by 2040.
  • The new research also shows good water solubility. The ability of compounds to form hydrogen bonds increases their anti tumor effects.

Russian scientists in collaboration with Belarusian researchers proposed a new class of drugs that will aid in the treatment of cancerous tumors. The drugs proposed are based on using palladium and platinum. The class of drugs based on platinum derivatives is now considered one of the most effective in the fight against tumors.

The most common of them in clinical practice is cisplatin that contains a heavy metal complex with a central atom of platinum surrounded by two chloride atoms and two ammonia molecules in the cis position. It is a white powder with the molecular formula PtCl2H6N2, and a molecular weight of 300.05.  However, its poor water solubility and high toxicity led to the development of new anticancer drugs based on platinum group metal compounds.

Palladium is a chemical element with the symbol Pd and atomic number 46. It was first discovered in 1803. Palladium is mostly mined  in Russia and South Africa. Platinum is a chemical element with the symbol Pt and atomic number 78. It is a dense, malleable, ductile, highly unreactive, precious, silverish-white transition metal.

Palladium.

The World Health Organization (WHO) considers cancer to be one of the main reasons for global death toll. In the United States alone over 1.5 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2019 and over 500,000 deaths recorded. According to cancer.org by 2040 there will be 27.5 million new cancer cases.

To date, a myriad of potentially active drugs with heavy metals have been synthesized, but only five of them are in clinical practice.

1) Cisplatin

2) Carboplatin

3) Oxaliplatin

4) Nedaplatin

5) Triplatin tetranitrate

To date, a myriad of potentially active drugs with heavy metals have been synthesized, but only five of them are in clinical practice.

One of the main problems of known platinum compounds is their high toxicity, which can be reduced by searching for analogues based on other transition metals, for which it is necessary to establish the molecular mechanism of action of the drugs. Scientists synthesized and studied a new class of compounds for creating anticancer drugs-palladium complexes with acyclic diaminocarbene ligands and structurally identical platinum complexes. Research was published on this subject in 2012 by Russian scientists.

Palladium complexes with such ligands are actively used in the catalysis of organic reactions, since they allow the synthesis of pharmaceutically important organic compounds in environmentally safe conditions, but no information about their biological activity has been previously reported. The new drugs were tested on breast and colon cancers.  For palladium compounds, the cytotoxicity to non-tumor cells is lower than for platinum compounds. It turned out that the result of the drug’s action is influenced by several factors at once. The full research is titled “Water Soluble Palladium(II) and Platinum(II) Acyclic Diaminocarbene Complexes: Solution Behavior, DNA Binding, and Antiproliferative Activity” and is published in the New Journal of Chemistry.

The new research also shows good water solubility. The ability of compounds to form hydrogen bonds increases their anti tumor effects. Thus, scientists have discovered for the first time the biological activity of acyclic palladium diaminocarbene complexes will allow new options to be included in future cancer protocols.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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