Interferons: Therapeutic Uses

Abstract

Interferons were the first cytokines to be used therapeutically as naturally derived and as recombinant forms in humans. Their broad biological activity has resulted in clinical benefits in diseases ranging from infectious (such as viral hepatitis), autoimmune (in particular multiple sclerosis) to neoplastic (lymphomas and carcinomas).

Keywords: interferons; human viral hepatitis; haematologic neoplasms; carcinoma; multiple sclerosis

Figure 1.

The pattern of favourable clinical and laboratory response to interferon α (IFN) therapy in (a) hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, and (b) hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. ALT, alanine aminotransferase; HBeAb, hepatitis B e antibody; HBeAg, hepatitis B e antigen; HBsAb, hepatitis B surface antibody; HBsAg, hepatitis B surface antigen.

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References

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Further Reading

Biron CA (1998) Role of early cytokines, including alpha and beta interferons (IFN‐α/β), in innate and adaptive immune responses to viral infections. Immunology 10: 383–390.

Kirkwood JM (1998) Adjuvant IFN‐α2 therapy of melanoma. Lancet 351: 1901–1903.

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Ralph SJ, Wong LHWA, Hatzinisiriou I et al. (1998) Revising interferons: prodigies among the cytokines. Today's Life Science Nov/Dec: 37–43.

Stuart‐Harris R and Penny R (eds) (1997) Clinical Applications of the Interferons. London: Chapman and Hall.

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Penny, Ronald, and Stuart‐Harris, Robin(Apr 2001) Interferons: Therapeutic Uses. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0002168]