Blue light and platinum fight cancer
COVENTRY, UK – Blue light could become a big cancer killer by activating what could
be a powerful platinum-based treatment.
A research team led by the University of Warwick, with researchers
at Ninewells Hospital Dundee and the University of Edinburgh, has discovered a new
platinum-based light-activated compound that is up to 80 times more powerful than
other platinum-based anti-cancer drugs. In addition, this compound is stable and
much more targeted than similar treatments, and it is water-soluble, so the body
can simply dissolve and flush it after use.
The team had previously found a UV-activated platinum-based compound,
but the narrowness of the UV wavelength would have limited its use. But the new
compound, known as trans,trans,trans-[Pt(N3)2(OH)2(py)2], can be activated by visible
blue or even green light.
It was tested at the hospital on cultivated esophageal cancer
cells. Once stimulated by blue light, the compound was highly effective, killing
50 percent of the cancer cells with a concentration of just 8.4 μmol per liter.
The researchers are also beginning to examine the compound’s effectiveness
against ovarian and liver cancer cells.
The results of the current study were published in Angewandte
Chemie International Edition, Vol. 49, Issue 47, pp. 8905-8908, Nov. 15, 2010.
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