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Boon and bane of metal ions in medicine

TitleBoon and bane of metal ions in medicine
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsThompson, KH, Orvig, C
JournalScience
Volume300
Pagination936-939
Date PublishedMay
Type of ArticleReview
ISBN Number0036-8075
KeywordsAGENTS, COMPLEXES, RADIOPHARMACEUTICALS
Abstract

In biological systems metal ions promote responses that range from deficiency to toxicity. Some, such as iron and zinc, have a known optimal intake range for normal, healthy individuals. Metal ions contained within well-designed molecules already constitute a great boon for the medicinal pharmacopoeia. However, whether essential or not, the threshold for toxicity can be very low. One of the challenges of designing metal-based drugs is to balance the potential toxicity of an active formulation with the substantial positive impact of these increasingly common therapeutic and diagnostic aids.

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