Imiquimod (IQ) is a chemical belonging to the imidazoquinoline family of chemicals. The initials (IQ) is derived from and stands for the chemical family name (I)midazo (Q)uinoline or simply IQ.
Since 3M uses the word imiquimod for describing the imidazoquinoline chemical in Aldara I can only assume that the letters in the word imiquimod were derived from ( IMI ) for (imidazo), (QUI) for (quinoline), and (MOD) for modulator because 3M classifies imiquimod as an immune response modifier.
So, I think there is no doubt that imiquimod (IQ) is part of the imidazoquinoline family of chemicals.
The following quote is found in the technical article:
by GARY A. RICHWALD
The imidazoquinoline, imiquimod, is a low molecular weight, synthetic immune response modifier............
I have discussed the variations between these structures with knowledgeable individuals holding degrees in chemistry and it is their opinion we must question the entire family of imidazoquinoline's , of which (IQ) belongs, for carcinogenicity in light of the following article which was published in 1993 prior to 3M marketing Aldara in 1997. My purpose for mentioning this is that at the time of the article, 1993, there was no known commercial uses for imidazoquinoline's.
1-(2-METHYLpropyl)-1H-IMIDAZO [4,5c] QUINOLIN - 4-amine ( (IQ) in Aldara)
2-amino-3-METHYL IMIDAZO [4,5-f] QUINOLINE ( (IQ) in this article )
CAS No. 76180-96-6
First listed in theTenth Report on Carcinogens
by National Cancer Institute
2-Amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (IQ) isreasonably anticipated to be a human
carcinogen based on sufficient evidence of benign and malignant tumor formation at multiple
tissue sites in multiple species of experimental animals (IARC 1993). Oral exposure of rats to
IQ induces neoplasms of the mammary gland, liver, small intestine, clitoral gland, oral cavity,
and Zymbal gland in females and neoplasms of the liver, skin, colon, small intestine, oral cavity,
and Zymbal gland in males. Oral exposure of mice to IQ induces neoplasms of the lung, liver,
and forestomach in males and females. Intraperitoneal injection of IQ in mice and oral exposure
in cynomologus monkeys causes liver tumors.
No adequate epidemiology studies have been reported that would indicate a human
cancer risk specifically associated with exposure to IQ or other heterocyclic amines (HCAs).
However, published epidemiology studies provide some indication that human cancer risk is
related to consumption of broiled or fried foods that may contain IQ and/or other HCAs.
OTHER INFORMATION RELATING TO CARCINOGENESIS OR POSSIBLE
MECHANISMS OF CARCINOGENESIS
Studies have uniformly shown that IQ is genotoxic in a wide variety of bacterial, plant,
and mammalian test systems, mainly with metabolic activation, and in animalsin vivo (IARC
1993). IQ induces DNA and chromosomal damage in various cultured human cells, including
mutations, chromosomal aberrations, sister chromatid exchange, micronuclei, and unscheduled
DNA synthesis. IQ is metabolized to reactive intermediates via acetylation and hydroxylation.
N-acetoxy-IQ degrades to an unstable nitrenium ion that can bind to DNA. In animals given IQ,
DNA adducts have been found in many tissues, including those where IQ-induced tumors occur.
All animal species studied have been found to metabolize IQ to products that react with DNA, as
do human mammary gland cells and liver microsomes in vitro.
No available data suggest that mechanisms thought to account for IQ’s induction of
tumors in experimental animals would not also operate in humans.
IQ is a light tan crystalline solid. It is stable under moderately acidic and alkaline
conditions and in cold, dilute aqueous solutions when protected from light (IARC 1986). It is
rapidly degraded by dilute hypochlorite (IARC 1993). It is insoluble in water (at 20°C) and
soluble in dimethylsulfoxide, 95% ethanol (at 16°C), methanol, acids, and alcohol.
REASONABLY ANTICIPATED TO BE A HUMAN CARCINOGEN TENTH REPORT ON CARCINOGENS
.........complete responders before IQ treatment