Compound discovered that targets cancer cells lacking the protective p53 'guardian gene'

A NEW chemical compound with the potential to destroy hard-to-treat cancer cells has been developed and tested by scientists at the University of Huddersfield.

Also, the compound causes remarkably little harm to healthy cells, meaning that the side effects traditionally associated with chemotherapy would potentially be significantly reduced.

At this early stage of its development, the compound, which contains the rare metal ruthenium, is generating exciting results in the laboratory, but there are significant challenges ahead before it enters clinical trial. Nevertheless, research conducted by a team of chemists, biologists and pharmacists at the University’s School of Applied Sciences is to continue, the ultimate aim being to get these compound or a derivative into clinical trial.

The breakthrough is described in an article published by the leading international journal Angewande Chemie. One of the authors is Professor Craig Rice, head of the University’s Department of Chemistry. He originally created the ruthenium – containing compound as an academic exercise, but then he and Roger Phillips, who is Professor of Cancer Pharmacology, decided to test it for toxicity to cancer.

An important aspect of the new compound is that its molecular backbone has an eliciting twist and this is important for


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