Affiliation: Department of Pharmaceutical Products, Pharmacy Faculty, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Twenty-seven nitrated and non-nitrated compounds have been synthesized and tested for their growth inhibitory activity on three human cancer cells lines. Fourteen compounds were able to inhibit more than 50% of the growth of at least one of the cancer cell lines and five compounds exhibited high antiproliferative activity on human cancer cell lines (IC50 < 8.5 μM). The cytotoxicity of the compounds on Vero cell line was established in vitro to evaluate the selectivity. All active compounds have a good leaving group (bromide or chloride) at the benzylic position, indicating that the mechanism of action of these compounds is related to their alkylating properties. Two compounds (3 and 24) were selected for further studies in mice with Ehrlich solid tumors and display significant antitumor effects in vivo.