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Cambridge University Science Magazine
The compound was tested on lab cultivated cancer cells from the human gullet at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. The results show that once activated with blue light, the new compound was up to eighty times more powerful than other platinum-based anti-cancer drugs. A concentration of 8.4 micromoles per litre was sufficient to kill 50% of the cultured cancer cells.

Light-activated drugs could significantly improve future cancer treatments, allowing the treatment to be targeted much more accurately against cancer cells. The research team believes that these light-activated complexes will make it easier to treat cancers that have previously not reacted to chemotherapy. “Tumours that have developed resistance to conventional platinum drugs could respond to these complexes and with fewer side-effects” say the researchers.

Written by Katherine Thomas