Researchers Develop Gold-Based Molecules Targeting Cancer Cells

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 09:21

Researchers at RMIT University have succeeded in engineering gold-based molecules that target cancer cells and leave healthy cells unharmed.

According to the Science Daily report, researchers of RMIT University have detailed four new bio-active molecules and their effectiveness against five types of cancer cells, and published their findings in Chemistry -- A European Journal.

Dr. Neda Mirzadeh, co-leader of the Molecular Engineering Group at RMIT, said the limitations of commonly used metal-based chemotherapies drove a need to find better alternatives.

"We've made huge inroads in cancer treatment over recent decades, but the disease still kills over 9.6 million people globally each year and remains the world's second leading cause of death," Mirzadeh said.

"While metal-based drugs have successfully pushed survival rates up, their effectiveness is limited because of toxic side effects, drug resistance and poor stability. The gold-based molecules we've designed are far more selective and stable."

"Our results show there's incredible potential here for the development of new cancer-fighting therapeutics that can deliver lasting power and precision."

The molecules were evaluated in pre-clinical tests and found to be highly cytotoxic against prostate, breast, cervical, melanoma and colon cancer cells. Animal trials showed treatment with the molecules significantly inhibited tumour growth (up to 46.9%, compared with 29% for cisplatin).

The gold-based compounds also inhibit the action of an enzyme found in cancer cells, thioredoxin reductase, that is linked with cancer progression and the development of drug resistance.

In addition, the molecules have strong anti-inflammatory properties, giving them a dual therapeutic effect and potential application in the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis.

Opinions


Popular News

Latest News