The Use of Interferons in Respiratory Diseases
Ori-Michael J. Benhamou, Miriam Jacobs, Jonathan Drew, Shahar Geva, Maor Waldman and Or Kalchiem-Dekel
Pages 318-322 (5)
Interferons (IFNs) are a subclass of lymphocyte-released cytokines that interfere with intracellular viral
replication. These drugs are classified into three groups: IFN type 1 (IFN-α, IFN-β, and IFN-ω), IFN type 2 (IFN-γ), and
IFN type 3 (IFN-λ). Despite numerous trials, IFN therapy has yet to conclusively demonstrate superiority in the treatment
of various pulmonary diseases. In addition to the FDA-approved and ongoing investigational uses for IFN therapy, there is
a debate regarding the appropriate dosage of these agents. A retrospective literature review is moving experts towards
low-dose therapies in nearly every application of IFN therapy. It is speculated that known and unknown toxicity may limit
the beneficial effects of IFN therapy.
Asthma, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, influenza, interferon.
Department of Internal Medicine B, Soroka University Medical Center, Beer-Sheva 84101, Israel.