European study finds caffeine mixed with gold may fight cancer

A photo taken on November 29, 2011 shows gold ingots in an antique safe, about 100 years old, shown at the ‘History of Money’ exhibition at the Hungarian National Bank in Budapest. ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images

IANS

London  – The unlikely pairing of gold and caffeine could be a potential tool in fighting cancer, according to a recent study.

Researchers at a Netherlands university put the two together in 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,”  said Angela Casini, a researcher at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. “Gold also can wipe out cancer cells, but, like caffeine, it can harm healthy cells.”

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.

IANS 2014-02-27 10:04:09

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