New family of promising, selective silver-based anti-cancer drugs discovered
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VIDEO: A family of economical silver-based complexes show very promising results against a number of human cancers in laboratory tests, with very low toxicity in rat studies and minimal effects on… view more 

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Credit: Dr Zelinda Engelbrecht, Ms Therese van Wyk at the University of Johannesburg.

A new family of very promising silver-based anti-cancer drugs has been discovered by researchers in South Africa. The most promising silver thiocyanate phosphine complex among these, called UJ3 for short, has been successfully tested in rats and in human cancer cells in the laboratory.

In research published in BioMetals, UJ3 is shown to be as effective against human esophageal cancer cells, as a widely-used chemotherapy drug in use today. Esophageal cancer cells are known to become resistant to current forms of chemotherapy.

“The UJ3 complex is as effective as the industry-standard drug Cisplatin in killing cancer cells in laboratory tests done on human breast cancer and melanoma, a very dangerous form of skin cancer, as well,” says Professor Marianne Cronjé, Head of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Johannesburg.

“However, UJ3 requires a 10 times lower dose to kill cancer cells. It also focuses more narrowly on cancer cells, so that far fewer

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