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Platinum Metals Rev., 1987, 31, (1), 23

Anti-Cancer Platinum Compounds


The platinum compound Cisplatin is now widely used for the treatment of specific cancers. However a number of adverse side effects are associated with its use, and since the late 1970s attention has been focused on the identification of other platinum drugs having less toxicity but with at least equivalent clinical activity.

This work has made significant progress and a review of the work carried out between the discovery of the anti-tumour activity of Cisplatin by B. Rosenberg and L. Van Camp in 1969 and the launch of Carboplatin, a second generation platinum drug, has recently been prepared by staff at the Johnson Matthey Technology Centre (“Second Generation Anticancer Platinum Compounds”, C. F. J. Barnard, M. J. Cleare and P. C. Hydes, Chem. Brit., 1986, 22, (11), 1001–1004).

Current work is concentrating on Carboplatin and on Iproplatin, another second generation drug. Particular attention is being paid to the use of these platinum drugs in combination with radiotherapy, and to varying the mode of administration to increase their effectiveness. At the same time the search for third generation platinum complexes with higher anti-tumour activity continues.