Bioactive Carboxylic Acid Polyanions

  • Raphael M. Ottenbrite


Synthetic polymers with carboxylic acid functionality have been found to elicit a broad range of biological activity. Among these activities are inhibitory effects against tumors, viruses, bacteria, and fungi. The distribution of these polymers, by 14C studies, indicate that they are oriented to the reticuloendothelial system. The mode of antitumor activation is related to their ability to activate a population of macrophage cells. The unique aspect of these polycarboxylic acid polymer-activated macrophages is that they become cytotoxic or cytostatic for tumor cells, such as Lewis lung and Ehrlich ascites, while they have no apparent effect on normal cell populations. Cell cycle analysis shows that polycarboxylic acid-activated macrophages shift the cellular population from the DNA synthesis and division phases to the resting phase. Clinical studies of these types of polymers have only been reported for the phase I program.


Acrylic Acid Maleic Anhydride Vinyl Ether Itaconic Acid Vinyl Acetate 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raphael M. Ottenbrite
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and the Massey Cancer CenterVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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