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Nat Rev Cancer. 2007 Aug;7(8):573-84. Epub 2007 Jul 12.

The resurgence of platinum-based cancer chemotherapy.

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Cancer Research Technology Development Laboratories, Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK.


The accidental discovery of the anticancer properties of cisplatin and its clinical introduction in the 1970s represent a major landmark in the history of successful anticancer drugs. Although carboplatin--a second-generation analogue that is safer but shows a similar spectrum of activity to cisplatin--was introduced in the 1980s, the pace of further improvements slowed for many years. However, in the past several years interest in platinum drugs has increased. Key developments include the elucidation of mechanisms of tumour resistance to these drugs, the introduction of new platinum-based agents (oxaliplatin, satraplatin and picoplatin), and clinical combination studies using platinum drugs with resistance modulators or new molecularly targeted drugs.

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