At the University of Kentucky, 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. 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. Theses molecules can be "switched on" by light from a fiber-optic probe once they reach their target tumor and would kill only cancerous cells. 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.
This video appears courtesy of Reveal: University of Kentucky Research Media research.uky.edu/reveal/