In 1969 Rosenberg and Van Camp announced the discovery of potent antitumour activity in four platinum coordination compounds (1). Perhaps not surprisingly, prior to this very few of the hundreds of thousands of compounds screened for antitumour activity were metalbased or even inorganic in nature. The major involvement of metals had concerned their relative concentrations in cancerous and noncancerous tissues. The platinum discovery came about somewhat serendipitously whilst the investigators were studying the effects of an electric field on the growth processes in bacteria (2). Extensive experimentation showed that the resulting filamentation effect (continued growth without cell division) was due to a platinum compound, cis-(Pt(NH3)2 C14), which uas formed by reaction of the Pt electrodes with the nutrient medium under the influence of the electric current. Testing of synthesised compounds showed that only the cis geometric isomer was active and this condition remained true uhen these compounds and their Pt(II) analogues were tested against transplanted tumours in mice; initially S 180 in ICR mice and confirmed by the NCI for L 1210 in DBA mice (1).
KeywordsPlatinum Pyrimidine Nucleoside Rosen Guanine
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