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Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 1993 Dec;15(3):191-219.

New platinum antitumor complexes.

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Section of Drug Development, Institute of Cancer Research, Belmont, Sutton, Surrey, UK.


Over the past two decades, platinum-based drugs (cisplatin and, latterly, the less toxic analogue carboplatin) have conferred significant therapeutic benefit to a large number of cancer sufferers. However, there remains scope for substantial improvement in the clinical utility of metal coordination complexes through the discovery of additional platinum-based complexes (or possibly alternative metals). Future drug discovery strategies should focus on tumor resistance and its circumvention. To date, only one series of compounds, those containing a 1,2-diaminocyclohexane carrier ligand (e.g., oxaliplatin, tetraplatin), has entered clinical trial based on their circumvention of acquired cisplatin resistance in some (mainly murine) preclinical tumor models. At present these agents are in early clinical trial and thus their true clinical utility in cisplatin/carboplatin refractory disease is not yet determinable (and may not be due to dose-limiting neurotoxicity). Over the past few years, our understanding of mechanisms of resistance to cisplatin and its interaction with DNA has vastly increased. This new information will undoubtedly guide the development of new strategies aimed at the circumvention of intrinsic and acquired tumor resistance to cisplatin. Approaches to circumvent resistance will probably involve not only the rational development of a new generation of platinum-based drugs (e.g., compounds designed to overcome reduced cisplatin accumulation or enhanced removal of cisplatin-induced DNA adducts) but also non-platinum drugs which are capable of modulating resistance (e.g., modulators of signal transduction pathways, ras and myc oncogene expression and glutathione biosynthesis). One may look forward with a great deal of optimism that these promising new approaches will result in clinical benefit by the end of the century. Nevertheless, cisplatin and carboplatin remain the standard anticancer drugs to which novel platinum-based complexes must be compared.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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