A chemistry team researching ruthenium compounds as possible anti-cancer drugs has discovered a way to make their complexes more effective against cancer cells and less toxic to healthy cells in lab tests.
Chemistry Professor Fred MacDonnell presented the team’s work this month at the 24th International Symposium on Chiral Discrimination in Fort Worth.
Platinum-based drugs are now the first line of treatment for many cancer patients. Scientists working with similar elements, such as ruthenium, hope to develop effective, less toxic alternative chemotherapy drugs.
Dr. MacDonnell noted that these ruthenium compounds work well against tumor cells under hypoxic, or low-oxygen, conditions. Such compounds could be useful to target the subpopulation of hypoxic cancer cells in solid tumors, as these cells are often the most resistant to drug treatment.
MacDonnell’s co-presenters at the conference were Abhishek Yadav, Thamara Jaranatne, and Arthi Krishnan, all past graduate students at UT Arlington.
Read more about the cancer research.