Cisplatin and solid tumors: Still working, after all these years

Elizabeth M Blanchard


Cisplatin, like many anti antineoplastic agents, has a rich and interesting history. It was first discovered in 1845 by Dr.Michele Peyrone and given the full chemical name cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (II), also called cis-DDP, though at thetime of its discovery was called ‘Peyrone’s salt’ [1]. The discovery [2] of its cellular toxic effects was not until more than acentury later in experiments with bacteria using platinum electrodes to study the effects of bacterial growth in an electricalfield. Growth was noted to be stunted, with bacteria left alive, but not replicating. After two years, cisplatin was discoveredto be similar to the compounds used in the electrodes and capable of stopping cell growth. This gave rise to experiments inanimals testing the antineoplastic properties of cisplatin and eventually to human trials. Phase I trials began in 1971 and thedrug was FDA approved for use in 1978 [3]. Cisplatin is the prototype of the chemotherapy class of platinum drugs thatinclude carboplatin and oxaliplatin. They cause cell death by binding to DNA to form DNA adducts, preventing furtherreplication [4].

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Journal of Solid Tumors

ISSN 1925-4067(Print)   ISSN 1925-4075(Online)

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