Organometallic ruthenium compds. that are effective anticancer and antimetastasis agents are currently under intensive investigation (see also the article by Peter Sadler in this issue). This article provides a personal account of the way in which we have exploited the different properties of the organoruthenium (and osmium and rhodium) compds. to rival traditional DNA-binding platinum drugs, culminating in the discovery of a non-classical mol. that is in an advanced stage of pre-clin. evaluation.