The Next Generation of Anticancer Metallopharmaceuticals: Cancer Stem Cell-Active Inorganics

Kristine Laws, Kogularamanan Suntharalingam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are heavily linked to fatal incidences of cancer relapse and metastasis. Conventional cancer therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are largely futile against CSCs. Therefore, highly original approaches are needed to overcome CSCs and to provide durable, long-term clinical outcomes. Many academia- and pharmaceutical-led studies aimed at developing chemical or biological anti-CSC agents are ongoing; however, the application of inorganic compounds is rare. In this minireview, we discuss how the chemical diversity and versatility offered by metals has been harnessed to develop an unprecedented, emerging class of metallopharmaceuticals: CSC-active inorganics. A detailed account of their mechanism(s) of action is provided, and possible future directions for exploration are also put forward.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2246-2253
Issue number21
Early online date12 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2018


  • bioinorganic chemistry
  • cancer stem cells
  • coordination complexes
  • metallopharmaceuticals
  • transition metals


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