Cisplatin has a number of side effects that can limit its use:
Nephrotoxicity (kidney damage) is a major concern. The dose should be reduced when the person's kidney function is impaired. Adequate hydration is used in an effort to prevent damage.Amifostine has been studied in an effort to prevent problems. Nephrotoxicity is a dose-limiting side effect.
Neurotoxicity (nerve damage) can be anticipated by performing nerve conduction studies before and after treatment. Common neurological side effects of cisplatin include visual perception and hearing disorder, which can occur soon after treatment begins. While triggering apoptosis through interfering with DNA replication remains the primary mechanism of cisplatin, this has not been found to contribute to neurological side effects. Recent studies have shown that cisplatin noncompetitively inhibits an archetypal, membrane-bound mechanosensitive sodium-hydrogen ion transporter known as NHE-1. It is primarily found on cells of the peripheral nervous system, which are aggregated in large numbers near the ocular and aural stimuli-receiving centers. This noncompetitive interaction has been linked to hydroelectrolytic imbalances and cytoskeleton alterations, both of which have been confirmed in vitro and in vivo. However, NHE-1 inhibition has been found to be both dose-dependent (half-inhibition = 30 ?g/mL) and reversible.
Ototoxicity (hearing loss): there is at present no effective treatment to prevent this side effect, which may be severe, although there is ongoing investigation of acetylcysteine injections as a preventative measure. Audiometric analysis may be necessary to assess the severity of ototoxicity. Other drugs (such as the aminoglycoside antibiotic class) may also cause ototoxicity, and the administration of this class of antibiotics in patients receiving cisplatin is generally avoided. The ototoxicity of both the aminoglycosides and cisplatin may be related to their ability to bind to melanin in the stria vascularis of the inner ear or the generation of reactive oxygen species.
Electrolyte disturbance: Cisplatin can cause hypomagnesaemia, hypokalaemia and hypocalcaemia. The hypocalcaemia seems to occur in those with low serum magnesium secondary to cisplatin, so it is not primarily due to the cisplatin.
Hemolytic anemia can be developed after several courses of cisplatin. It is suggested that an antibody reacting with a cisplatin-red-cell membrane is responsible for hemolysis.
Cisplatin interferes with DNA replication, which kills the fastest proliferating cells, which in theory are cancerous. Following administration, one chloride ion is slowly displaced by water to give the aquo complexcis-[PtCl(NH3)2(H2O)]+, in a process termed aquation. Dissociation of the chloride is favored inside the cell because the intracellular chloride concentration is only 3-20% of the approximately 100 mM chloride concentration in the extracellular fluid.
The water molecule in cis-[PtCl(NH3)2(H2O)]+ is itself easily displaced by the N-heterocyclic bases on DNA. Guanine preferentially binds. Subsequent to formation of [PtCl(guanine-DNA)(NH3)2]+, crosslinking can occur via displacement of the other chloride, typically by another guanine. Cisplatin crosslinks DNA in several different ways, interfering with cell division by mitosis. The damaged DNA elicits DNA repair mechanisms, which in turn activate apoptosis when repair proves impossible. In 2008, researchers were able to show that the apoptosis induced by cisplatin on human colon cancer cells depends on the mitochondrial serine-protease Omi/Htra2. Since this was only demonstrated for colon carcinoma cells, it remains an open question if the Omi/Htra2 protein participates in the cisplatin-induced apoptosis in carcinomas from other tissues Omi/Htra2.
Most notable among the changes in DNA are the 1,2-intrastrand cross-links with purine bases. These include 1,2-intrastrand d(GpG) adducts which form nearly 90% of the adducts and the less common 1,2-intrastrand d(ApG) adducts. 1,3-intrastrand d(GpXpG) adducts occur but are readily excised by the nucleotide excision repair (NER). Other adducts include inter-strand crosslinks and nonfunctional adducts that have been postulated to contribute to cisplatin's activity. Interaction with cellular proteins, particularly HMG domain proteins, has also been advanced as a mechanism of interfering with mitosis, although this is probably not its primary method of action. Omi/Htra2.
Cisplatin combination chemotherapy is the cornerstone of treatment of many cancers. Initial platinum responsiveness is high but the majority of cancer patients will eventually relapse with cisplatin-resistant disease. Many mechanisms of cisplatin resistance have been proposed including changes in cellular uptake and efflux of the drug, increased detoxification of the drug, inhibition of apoptosis and increased DNA repair.Oxaliplatin is active in highly cisplatin-resistant cancer cells in the laboratory; however, there is little evidence for its activity in the clinical treatment of patients with cisplatin-resistant cancer. The drug paclitaxel may be useful in the treatment of cisplatin-resistant cancer; the mechanism for this activity is unknown.
Transplatin, the trans stereoisomer of cisplatin, has formula trans-[PtCl2(NH3)2] and does not exhibit a comparably useful pharmacological effect. Two mechanisms have been suggested to explain the reduced anticancer effect of transplatin. Firstly, the trans arrangement of the chloro ligands is thought to confer transplatin with greater chemical reactivity, causing transplatin to become deactivated before it reaches the DNA where cisplatin exerts its pharmacological action. Secondly, the stereo-conformation of transplatin is such that it is unable to form the characteristic 1,2-intrastrand d(GpG) adducts formed by cisplatin in abundance.
The compound cis-[Pt(NH3)2Cl2] was first described by Michele Peyrone in 1845, and known for a long time as Peyrone's salt. The structure was deduced by Alfred Werner in 1893. In 1965, Barnett Rosenberg, Van Camp et al. of Michigan State University discovered that electrolysis of platinum electrodes generated a soluble platinum complex which inhibited binary fission in Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. Although bacterial cell growth continued, cell division was arrested, the bacteria growing as filaments up to 300 times their normal length. The octahedral Pt(IV) complex cis-[PtCl4(NH3)2], but not the trans isomer, was found to be effective at forcing filamentous growth of E. coli cells. The square planar Pt(II) complex, cis-[PtCl2(NH3)2] turned out to be even more effective at forcing filamentous growth. This finding led to the observation that cis-[PtCl2(NH3)2] was indeed highly effective at regressing the mass of sarcomas in rats. Confirmation of this discovery, and extension of testing to other tumour cell lines launched the medicinal applications of cisplatin. Cisplatin was approved for use in testicular and ovarian cancers by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on 19 December 1978. and in the UK (and in several other European countries) in 1979.Cisplatin was the first to be developed.
In 1983 pediatric oncologist Roger Packer began incorporating cisplatin into adjuvant chemotherapy for the treatment of childhood medulloblastoma. The new protocol that he developed led to a marked increase in disease-free survival rates for patients with medulloblastoma, up to around 85%. The Packer Protocol has since become a standard treatment for medulloblastoma. Likewise, Cisplatin has been found to be particularly effective against testicular cancer, where its use improved the cure rate from 10% to 85%.
Recently, some researchers have investigated at the preclinical level new forms of cisplatin prodrugs in combination with nanomaterials in order to localize the release of the drug in the target.
Syntheses of cisplatin start from potassium tetrachloroplatinate. Several procedures are available. One obstacle is the facile formation of Magnus's green salt (MGS), which has the same empirical formula as cisplatin. The traditional way to avoid MGS involves the conversion of K2PtCl4 to K2PtI4, as originally described by Dhara. Reaction with ammonia forms PtI2(NH3)2 which is isolated as a yellow compound. When silver nitrate in water is added insoluble silver iodide precipitates and [Pt(OH2)2(NH3)2](NO3)2 remains in solution. Addition of potassium chloride will form the final product which precipitates  In the triiodo intermediate the addition of the second ammonia ligand is governed by the trans effect.
A one-pot synthesis of cisplatin from K2PtCl4 has been developed. It relies on the slow release of ammonia from ammonium acetate.
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