A new type of drug will solve the growing problem of resistance to medications currently being used to treat cancer, and it is also less expensive and safer than other analogues, according to the authors of a study published in the New Journal of Chemistry.
Drugs based on platinum derivatives are widely used in the fight against various types of cancer nowadays. However, such drugs are expensive, have side effects, and moreover, cancer cells quickly become highly resistant to them, according to the authors of the study.
The scientists say that nickel is a promising alternative to platinum, as is its closest electronic analogue. It is also several times cheaper.
Two new nickel-based complexes showing antitumor activity on lung cancer cells were explored for the first time as a result of the study carried out by University of Tyumen together with specialists from Turkey, Iran, and Spain.
"Nickel, unlike platinum, can form a much richer molecular geometry, which allows it to form complexes with new and improved characteristics. This makes it easier to improve the drug, fighting both the growing resistance of cancer cells and negative side effects", Damir Safin, professor from the Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry at University of Tyumen said.
Derivatives of hydrazone, imitating biological systems, were used as an organic component of the produced drugs. According to Professor Safin, the biological activity of hydrazones is enhanced by the formation of complexes with metals, which increases their effectiveness.
The international research team plans to continue working to improve the properties of the new drugs.