AITHM Seminar: E./Prof Richard Keene
For half a century, platinum species such as cisplatin have dominated the field of metal-based agents as therapeutic drugs, with an estimated 70% of cancer patients receiving that compound as part of their treatment. However, there are a number of problems in the clinical application of such platinum compounds including limitations in the range of cancers against which they are effective, the development of resistance, and severe adverse reactions. But as a consequence of the clinical success and limitations of platinum-based anticancer drugs, there has been considerable interest in the development of alternative strategies based upon other transition metals, and in particular ruthenium.
This seminar will showcase a diverse range of ruthenium compounds, many developed at JCU that exhibit significant biological activity, ranging from specificity in their interaction with nucleic acids per se, to cytotoxicity and therapeutic potential as anti-cancer, bacterial, parasitic, and fungal agents. The series of compounds has significant capacity for deliberate modular modification which allows control of their biological interactions, and the relationship between their chemical structure and biological processing (e.g. cellular uptake and localisation) in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells will be discussed. Importantly, recent studies have shown these compounds can exhibit anticancer, antimicrobial and antiparasitic activity in vivo, which provides “proof of concept” that this class of metal-based agent has real clinical potential.