Beatriz L. Heras*, Angel Amesty, Ana Estevez-Braun* and Sonsoles Hortelano* Pages 48 - 65 ( 18 )
Cancer continues to be one of the major causes of death worldwide. Despite many advances in the understanding of this complex disease, new approaches are needed to improve the efficacy of current therapeutic treatments against aggressive tumors. Natural products are one of the most consistently successful sources of drug leads. In recent decades, research activity into the clinical potential of this class of compounds in cancer has increased. Furthermore, a highly promising field is the use of metals and their complexes in the design and development of metal-based drugs for the treatment of cancer. Metal complexes offer unique opportunities due to their ability to alter pharmacology, improving the efficacy and/or reducing the negative side effects of drug molecules. In addition, transition metals as copper, iron, and manganese, among others, can interact with active sites of enzymes, playing important roles in multiple biological processes. Thus, these complexes not only possess higher activities but also reach their targets more efficiently. This review article highlights recent advances on the emerging and expanding field of metal-based drugs. The emphasis is on new therapeutic strategies consisting of metal complexes with natural product like-compounds as a starting point for the rational design of new antitumor agents.
Cancer, natural products, metal-based drugs, naphthoquinones, metal complexes, antitumor activity
Departamento de Farmacología. Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), Madrid, Departamento de Química Orgánica, Instituto Universitario de Bio-Orgánica Antonio González, Universidad de La Laguna. Avda. Astrofísico Fco. Sánchez 2. 38206. La Laguna, Tenerife, Departamento de Química Orgánica, Instituto Universitario de Bio-Orgánica Antonio González, Universidad de La Laguna. Avda. Astrofísico Fco. Sánchez 2. 38206. La Laguna, Tenerife, Unidad de Terapias Farmacológicas. Área de Genética Humana. Instituto de Investigación de Enfermedades Raras (IIER), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid