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Future medicinal chemistry

Gallium-containing anticancer compounds.


PMID 22800370

Abstract

There is an ever pressing need to develop new drugs for the treatment of cancer. Gallium nitrate, a group IIIa metal salt, inhibits the proliferation of tumor cells in vitro and in vivo and has shown activity against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and bladder cancer in clinical trials. Gallium can function as an iron mimetic and perturb iron-dependent proliferation and other iron-related processes in tumor cells. Gallium nitrate lacks crossresistance with conventional chemotherapeutic drugs and is not myelosuppressive; it can be used when other drugs have failed or when the blood count is low. Given the therapeutic potential of gallium, newer generations of gallium compounds are now in various phases of preclinical and clinical development. These compounds hold the promise of greater anti-tumor activity against a broader spectrum of cancers. The development of gallium compounds for cancer treatment and their mechanisms of action will be discussed.