Interferon and malignant disease--how does it work and why doesn't it always?

Acta Oncol. 1998;37(4):331-8. doi: 10.1080/028418698430548.


Since their first use at the clinic almost 30 years ago. interferons (IFNS) have become an accepted therapy in a range of malignancies. Although IFN All induce remissions in some patients, they are of no benefit, or at best, lead only to minor improvements in the great majority of patients. This review considers possible mechanisms underlying the antitumour effects of IFN, and discusses possible reasons for resistance to IFN therapy in patients with malignant disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cell Division
  • Drug Resistance / physiology
  • Humans
  • Interferons / pharmacology*
  • Interferons / therapeutic use
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Interferons