ARTICLE | Targets & Mechanisms

MIT goes platinum

January 21, 2010 8:00 AM UTC

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have synthesized mitaplatin, a fusion between cisplatin and dichloroacetate that could have a better therapeutic window than cisplatin and could treat cancers that are resistant to the platinum-based chemotherapeutic.1 The group now is running in vivo experiments hoping to replicate in vitro results in which mitaplatin showed synergistic improvements in selectivity for cancer cells compared with each of its components delivered separately.

In the intracellular environment, cisplatin promotes cell death by entering the nucleus and disrupting the activity of DNA. However, the nonspecificity of cisplatin's mechanisms alsocontributes to dose-limiting side effects such as kidney damage, nerve damage and hearing loss. In addition, cancer cells can acquire resistance to cisplatin by a variety of mechanisms including a defective cell death response...