According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, some 19 million people worldwide developed cancer just in 2020. Current forecasts show that this number will continue to rise in the coming years. Heraeus Precious Metals has been manufacturing platinum-containing active pharmaceutical ingredients for cancer therapy in Hanau, near Frankfurt, for about 40 years.
The classic methods of treating cancer - surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy - are very effective, but remain limited in what they can do. For example, surgery and radiotherapy are only locally effective, and chemotherapy attacks healthy tissue as well as cancer cells.
Medical cancer research is therefore increasingly focusing on the development of therapies that act in a targeted manner against cancer cells because they target their specific molecular properties. These therapies are known as "Targeted Therapies". The drugs used here distinguish cancer cells from healthy cells based on specific characteristics. By preserving the healthy cells, side effects are reduced, and thus the therapies are also tolerated better.