Scientists from St. Petersburg State University, Tolyatti State University, National Medical Research Center for Oncology named after N.N.

Blokhin and the Belarusian State University synthesized anti-cancer compounds based on palladium and confirmed their effectiveness in experiments on mice.

Fragments of an extremely aggressive human cancer tumor, triple-negative breast cancer, were implanted into the animals' bodies.

The press service of St. Petersburg State University reported this to RT.

The results of the study were published in Chemistry - A European Journal.

Platinum-based drugs are used today to treat cancer.

However, while destroying cancer cells, such drugs, such as cisplatin, also have a negative effect on the patient’s healthy tissue.

As a result, the use of chemotherapy is associated with serious side effects.

  • Palladium


In the new work, scientists synthesized compounds based on another platinum group metal, palladium.

Palladium is less toxic to healthy cells than platinum, but its compounds are poorly stable, which prevents the production of therapeutic drugs based on it.

The authors of the study managed to solve this problem: they developed a method for the synthesis of palladium compounds, which gives a stable result.

“Palladium compounds have low toxicity, unlike platinum compounds used in chemotherapy, but for a long time such substances were considered unpromising for medical use due to their rapid decomposition in the body.

Thanks to the thoughtful design of the molecule, we were able to overcome this limitation: the synthesized compounds are highly stable - the solutions remain unchanged for at least two years, which is unique for the chemistry of palladium compounds,” Mikhail Kinzhalov, associate professor of the Department of Physical Organic Chemistry at St. Petersburg State University, noted in an interview with RT.

To achieve this, scientists “assembled” the organic molecules that make up the substance directly on palladium atoms - this is a fundamentally new method of synthesis.

What is important is that the technique is easily scalable and allows you to obtain new molecules in one reactor from three available reagents without the formation of by-products.


First, scientists studied new compounds in vitro, using cell culture.

The compounds have shown their ability to suppress cells of various types of cancer, but the strongest effect was shown against triple-negative breast cancer - a very aggressive type of tumor that is difficult to treat.

One of the substances not only had 300 times greater antitumor activity than known platinum-based chemotherapy drugs, but also retained it under conditions of cancer hypoxia.

It occurs in triple-negative breast cancer tumors to overcome drug resistance and reduce the effectiveness of existing drugs.

According to the researchers, the compounds did not affect healthy cells, which means they were highly selective for tumor cells.

Scientists also conducted research on the most effective compound in laboratory mice.

The animals were pre-implanted with triple-negative breast cancer cells.

Within 35 days of therapy, the new substance suppressed tumor growth by 75% compared with rates in rodents that did not receive treatment.

The authors of the work plan to continue experiments on mammals to clarify all the therapeutic properties of the new compounds.