Light-Activated Cancer Drugs
UK Assistant Professor of Chemistry Edith "Phoebe" Glazer is looking for something more effective at killing cancer cells and less toxic to healthy cells than cisplatin. Her alternative uses ruthenium to build complex molecules that can be "switched on" by light from a fiber-optic probe once they reach their target tumor. In January 2013, Glazer received a four-year, $715,000 grant from the American Cancer Society to develop a family of ruthenium molecules to fight different kinds of cancer.
A platinum-based drug, cisplatin is one of the most commonly used cancer drugs, but leads to nausea and nerve damage. Her alternative uses ruthenium, another transition metal, to build complex molecules.