To date, cisplatin and its analogs are among the most effective chemotherapeutic agents for cancer treatment.
However, high systemic toxicity and the propensity for patients to develop tumor resistance remain the main challenges in
the clinical application. Therefore, the discovery and development of novel active chemotherapeutic agents are largely
needed and the research of new metal-based anticancer drugs continues to be a very active international field. In this
review paper we aim to give a detailed overview on our research work devoted to the design of novel dithiocarbamato
complexes with different noble metals (such as palladium, platinum, copper, ruthenium and gold), which have gained
considerable interest in both the development and the treatment of cancer. In particular, we summarize the results of the
metal complexes achieved so far, focusing on the gold(III) compounds, that show outstanding in vitro and in vivo
antitumor properties and reduced, or even no, systemic and renal toxicity, compared to the reference drug cisplatin.
Anticancer agents, copper, dithiocarbamato complexes, metal-based drugs, gold, ruthenium, platinum, palladium.
Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Padova, Via Marzolo 1, 35131 Padova, Italy