Acta Pharm. 49 (1999) 225-236

Review article 

Metal complexes in tumour therapy


1Research Units of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts,  Zagreb, Croatia
2Department of Analytics and Drug Control,   Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Received July 14, 1999      Accepted October 22, 1999

Metal complexes are extensively used in medical therapy. Special attention has been paid to platinum complexes as antitumour agents. The antitumour activity of germanium complexes and of metallocenes is described, and the mechanisms of the antitumour activity discussed. The principle of photodynamic therapy is given, and the ways of how the radiation can be applied in a controlled manner, not destroying healthy tissue are described. The antirheumatic action of complexes of gold(I) is described and the possible mechanisms of therapeutic activity discussed. »Boron neutron capture therapy« as a promising way in selectively destroying tumour cells is also presented.

Keywords: antitumour activity, metal complexes, photodynamic therapy, metallocenes