The Therapeutic Applications of Recombinant Interferons
Interferons are members of cytokines. They get the name after their ability to “interfere” with viral replication within host cells. They play vital functions in activating immune cells, recognition of infection or tumor cells, strengthening the ability of uninfected hot cells to resist new infection by virus and so on.
Over these years, interferons have been extensively researched. Here we mainly talk about its therapeutic applications:
Overall, IFN-α can be applied in many virus-related disorders, such as hepatitis virus infection, Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) caused by human herpes virus-8, human papillomatosis virus (HPV) etc.
Since 1991, IFN-α has been approved for the treatment against chronic HCV and HBV. At the moment, chronic HBV infection is usually treated with a combination of peginterferon and one of several nucleotide analogues that inhibit the replication of the HBV genome such as lamivudine, adefovir, entecavir or tenofovir. And people are still devoting to develop more effective nucleotide analogues.
IFN-α is also employed in Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) caused by human herpes virus-8 (HHV-8) that generally associates with AIDS.
Interferons have been used in attempts to treat neoplasms due to its properties in cell differentiation, anti-angiogenic and growth regulation. Some haematological cancers and solid tumours have begun to use interferons. But they are still less understood in terms of their effectiveness and anti-mechanisms.
Treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS)
Treatment of MS with IFN-β was initiated based on the immunomodulatory properties of the interferons1. As many studies showed, intramuscular treatment with IFN-β results in a reduction in the annual rate of relapses of MS. Addition of natalizumab, a recombinant monoclonal antibody to an integrin, augments the ability of IFN-β to decrease the rate of MS progression.
There are absolutely so many other clinical uses of interferons in biomedical sciences. Research on interferons has contributed significantly to the rapid development of molecular biology during these years.
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1. Drolet BA, Esterly NB, Frieden IJ. Hemangiomas in children. N Engl J Med. 1999; 341:173–81. [PubMed]
Article Link: The Therapeutic Applications of Recombinant Interferons
Tags: Interferons, Cytokines, Monoclonal Antibody