Introduction: The biggest challenge in the development of anti-cancer drugs
is to target and kill only the cancer cells without harming the normal body cells. Interferons
(IFNs) are naturally produced by our body cells in response to pathological compromisation
and these chemical messengers render the neighboring normal cells resistant
to similar type of infection. Interferons regulate angiogenesis, have immunomodulatory
capacities and are hence a fantastic therapeutic choice against cancer.
Material: Interferon supplement or its use in combination with other anti-cancer drugs
are thought of and investigated around the globe with some promising results on hand.
Interferons have been found to be effective in reducing the growth of tumor and also in
triggering the anti-tumor immune response in humans.
Method: Interferon therapy is being found to be effective against various types of cancer
including lung cancer. Lung cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to deal clinically
as it remains asymptomatic till metastasis in most of the cases. Depending on the appearance
of pulmonary cancer cells under microscope, lung cancer has primarily been
classified into small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.
Conclusion: Interferons have been found to be effective in both types of lung cancer
even in advanced stage. IFN α & β (type I IFN) have been extensively tried in various
experimental models of lung cancer and clinical cases and have been found to be effective
while other types and sub types of interferon like IFN gamma have also been tried in
several cases of lung cancer and have yielded varied results. Studies are still in progress
and we are looking ahead for further achievements related to potential and effective interferon
therapy against pulmonary malignancies.