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-ß, 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.
- Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis