Carboplatin molecule, cancer drug

Carboplatin molecule, cancer drug

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Credit: DR TIM EVANS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Carboplatin cancer drug molecule, computer model. Carboplatin is a chemotherapy drug used to treat some forms of cancer. It is an organic molecule arranged around an ion of the metal platinum (Pt). The drug's chemical formula is C6.H12.N2.O4.Pt. This molecular model has colour-coded rods for atoms: carbon (yellow), hydrogen (grey), nitrogen (dark blue), oxygen (red), platinum (light blue). Carboplatin was developed in the late 1980s. It slows cancer growth by reacting with a cell's DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), the genetic material that is the basis of the division and development of cells. Cancer cells, which divide rapidly, are more sensitive to this kind of damage than healthy cells.

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