The Interferons: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications

Samuel Baron, Stephen K. Tyring, W. Robert Fleischmann, Dorian H. Coppenhaver, David Niesel, Gary R. Klimpel, G. John Stanton, Thomas K. Hughes

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Abstract

The interferons (IFN) are one of the body’s natural defensive responses to such foreign components as microbes, tumors, and antigens. The IFN response begins with the production of the IFN proteins (α, β, and γ), which then induce the antiviral, antimicrobial, antitumor, and immunomodulatory actions of IFN. Recent advances have led to Food and Drug Administration approval of five clinical indications for IFN. Interferon alfa is approved for hairy-cell leukemia, condyloma acuminatum, Kaposi’s sarcoma in the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and non-A, non-B (type C) viral hepatitis. Interferon gamma has properties distinctive from those of IFNs α and β and is approved as an immunomodulatory treatment for chronic granulomatous disease. Promising clinical results with IFNs have also been reported for basal cell carcinoma, chronic myelogenous leukemia, cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, early human immunodeficiency virus infection, hepatitis B, and laryngeal papillomatosis. Future clinical uses of IFNs may emphasize combination therapy with other cytokines, chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, hyperthermia, or hormones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1375-1383
Number of pages9
JournalJAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Volume266
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 11 1991

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Baron, S., Tyring, S. K., Fleischmann, W. R., Coppenhaver, D. H., Niesel, D., Klimpel, G. R., Stanton, G. J., & Hughes, T. K. (1991). The Interferons: Mechanisms of Action and Clinical Applications. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 266(10), 1375-1383. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.266.10.1375