Recent development of transition metal complexes with in vivo antitumor activity

Jia Xin Liang, Hai Jing Zhong, Guanjun Yang, Kasipandi Vellaisamy, Dik Lung Ma*, Chung Hang Leung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


The often severe side effects displayed by currently used platinum and ruthenium complexes have motivated researchers to design and develop transition metal-based anti-tumor agents with reduced toxicity. Distinct from organic anti-tumor drugs, transition metal complexes possess several properties that render them as promising scaffolds for anti-cancer drug discovery. While a vast number of metal complexes have been synthesized and reported to be promising and potent in vitro anticancer active compounds, fewer have shown efficacy in in vivo models. The demonstration of in vivo potency is an essential step for lead candidates for clinical trials. In this review, we highlight examples of transition metal-based complexes that have shown in vivo anti-tumor activities that have been described in recent years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-286
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Inorganic Biochemistry
Early online date16 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Anti-tumor
  • Cancer
  • In vivo
  • Transition metal


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