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Anti-cancer efficient and non-toxic palladium compounds

Anticancer drugsBV22cancerChemotherapyPalladium compoundstumour


A new study has identified an extended class of palladium compounds that includes vinyl and butadienyl fragments. In vitro tests proved a high anti-proliferating activity on different tumour cell lines, without damaging healthy cells. Further pre-clinical and clinical studies could develop efficient and less-toxic chemotherapies.

Technical features

Chemotherapy has been mostly using platinum-based antineoplastic drugs, in spite of their significant nephro- and neurotoxicity. Research in the field has been exploring other potential transition metals, in particular the use of palladium compounds. The Ca’ Foscari team has identified a new extended class of palladium compounds that includes vinyl and butadienyl fragments, which proved to have efficient anti-tumor action. In vitro tests show high stability, a quick and reproducible synthesis and an effective anti-proliferating activity on some of the most aggressive tumours, such as ovarian, colon and breast cancer. The new class of compounds, actually in pre-clinical phase, exhibits very promising results and poor toxicity on culture cells extracted from healthy tissues. Further preclinical and clinical tests will better define their potential and may be the prelude to a new generation of anti-cancer drugs.

Possible Applications

  • Anti-cancer drugs, which can be administered intravenously (most frequently), intramuscularly or subcutaneously;
  • Anti-cancer drugs, which can be administered orally via pills or tablets.


  • High anti-proliferative activity;
  • Anti-tumor efficacy higher than cisplatin or other palladium compounds;
  • Limited toxicity for healthy cells;
  • Simple and reproducible synthesis protocol.