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My PhD was undertaken under the supervision of Prof Peter Sadler in the area of Pt(IV)-diazido anticancer complexes.


Photodynamic therapy is the administration of a photosensitizer and then subsequent activation with light of appropriate wavelength at the tissue of interest (Figure below). This can trigger cell death only in the cancerous tissue, thus increasing the therapeutic idnex of the treatment. However, the disadvantages of photodynamic therapy is the necessity of the presence of oxygen which is normally scarce in the hypoxic cancerous tissue environment, as well as the development of photosenstivity following such a treatment. The Sadler and Berdnaski groups have developed a family of Pt(IV)-diazido photoactivatable drugs which are non-toxic in the dark but can be activated with very low doses of visible light causing significant cell death. The cell death mechanism is thought to incorporate both the production of azidyl radicals as well as cytotoxicity caused by the platinum moiety.