Strategies to Improve the Efficacy of Platinum Compounds

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Platinum drugs are widely used in antitumour therapy and are a cornerstone of the treatment of different solid tumours. The pharmacological interest of cisplatin has led to the design of many analogues to broaden the spectrum of activity, reduce side effects, and overcome resistance. Although the cis configuration was initially identified as the only active one, trans-platinum complexes have shown significant antitumour activity in preclinical models. In addition to mononuclear platinum compounds, multinuclear platinum complexes have been generated that are characterised by a different mode of interaction with DNA. Since a major limitation to the clinical efficacy of platinum compounds is drug resistance, the most important feature of nonconventional platinum drugs should be the capability of overcoming cellular resistance. However, due to the multifactorial nature of clinical resistance, which also involves pharmacological factors, the optimisation of current platinum-based therapy also includes the development of drug delivery approaches. The present review focuses on recent studies on the molecular alterations of tumour cells that are associated with resistance to platinum drugs, the development of novel platinum drugs, and approaches that may contribute to improve the efficacy of platinum-based therapy.

Keywords: Cisplatin; drug delivery; drug resistance; oxaliplatin; polynuclear platinum compounds

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Via Venezian 1, 20133 Milan, Italy.

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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