London, Feb 27 (IANS): Do you see any connection between gold and caffeine? If combined, these two can become a potential tool in fighting cancer, a study showed.
Researchers put the two together into certain configurations to see whether the new caffeine-based gold compounds could selectively stop cancer cells from growing without hurting other cells.
“Caffeine and certain caffeine-based compounds have recently been in the spotlight as possible anticancer treatments. Gold also can wipe out cancer cells, but, like caffeine, it can harm healthy cells,” said researcher Angela Casini from University of Groningen in the Netherlands.
The team made a series of seven new compounds, called caffeine-based gold (I) N-heterocyclic carbenes in the laboratory and studied them.
The scientists found that at certain concentrations, one of the compounds of the series selectively killed human ovarian cancer cells without harming healthy cells.
In addition, the compound targeted a type of DNA architecture, called 'G-quadruplex' that is associated with cancer.
Researchers, in a report in the ACS journal Inorganic Chemistry, said that combining a caffeine-based compound with a small amount of gold could someday be used as an anticancer agent.