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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2003 Jul;4(7):1105-19.

The imidazoquinolines and their place in the therapy of cutaneous disease.

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Dermatopathology, Anatomic Pathology, Quest Diagnostics, 1777 Montreal Circle, Tucker, GA 30084, USA.


The imidazoquinolines arose from efforts to develop a nucleoside analogue. Although molecularly similar to nucleosides, the imidazoquinolines did not have nucleoside-like activity. However, the imidazoquinolines induced immune modulatory cytokines, in part, because of their ability to activate toll receptors (TLR)s. Imiquimod, the first FDA-approved imidazoquinoline, has been marketed as a 5% cream, which is approved for the therapy of genital warts. The advantage of imiquimod therapy over other therapies for genital warts is the decrease in recurrence rate with the establishment of an adaptive immunological response or immunological memory/surveillance response. As tumours and viral infections are handled similarly by the immune system, there has been great interest in the use of topical imiquimod for the treatment of cutaneous neoplasms, particularly non-melanoma skin cancers. Future efforts in imidazoquinoline research is focused around the development of analogues with modifications in the immunological profiles, potency and penetration parameters that better focus these new analogues for the therapy of specific intracellular infections and neoplasms, as well as the development of imidazoquinolines for conditions related either directly or indirectly to patterns of immune dysregulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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