DOI: 10.1595/003214001x4526269 ISSN: 0032-1400

Ruthenium in Medicine: Current Clinical Uses and Future Prospects

Claire S. Allardyce, Paul J. Dyson
  • Metals and Alloys

There is no doubt about the success of precious metals in the clinic, with, for example, platinum compounds being widely used in the treatment of cancer, silver compounds being useful antimicrobial agents and gold compounds used routinely in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The medicinal properties of the other platinum group metals are now being recognised and of these a ruthenium anticancer agent has recently entered the clinic, showing promising activity on otherwise resistant tumours. Like all metal drugs, the activity of the ruthenium compounds depends on both the oxidation state and the ligands. By manipulating these features ruthenium-centred antimalarial, antibiotic and immunosuppressive drugs have been made. In addition, ruthenium has unique properties which make it particularly useful in drug design. In this review we discuss ruthenium from a clinical stance and outline the medicinal uses of ruthenium-based compounds.