The use of interferons in respiratory diseases

Ori Michael J. Benhamou, Miriam Jacobs, Jonathan Drew, Shahar Geva, Maor Waldman, Or Kalchiem-Dekel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-322
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Respiratory Medicine Reviews
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2013


  • Asthma
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • Influenza
  • Interferon


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