Arene ruthenium complexes contg. long-chain N-ligands L1 = NC5H4-4-COO-C6H4-4-O-(CH2)9-CH3 or L2 = NC5H4-4-COO-(CH2)10-O-C6H4-4-COO-C6H4-4-C6H4-4-CN derived from isonicotinic acid, of the type [(arene)Ru(L)Cl2] (arene = C6H6, L = L1: 1; arene = p-MeC6H4Pr i , L = L1: 2; arene = C6Me6, L = L1: 3; arene = C6H6, L = L2: 4; arene = p-MeC6H4Pri , L = L2: 5; arene = C6Me6, L = L2: 6) have been synthesized from the corresponding [(arene)RuCl2]2 precursor with the long-chain N-ligand L in dichloromethane. Ruthenium nanoparticles stabilized by L1 have been prepd. by the solvent-free redn. of 1 with hydrogen or by reducing [(arene)Ru(H2O)3]SO4 in ethanol in the presence of L1 with hydrogen. These complexes and nanoparticles show a high anticancer activity towards human ovarian cell lines, the highest cytotoxicity being obtained for complex 2 (IC50 = 2 μM for A2780 and 7 μM for A2780cisR).