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Biochimie. 2007 Jun-Jul;89(6-7):723-8. Epub 2007 Mar 15.

The antitumor effects of interferon: a personal history.

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  • 1Unité Inserm 255, Centre de Recherches Biomédicales des Cordeliers, UPMC, 15 rue de l'Ecole de Médecine 75270 Paris, France. ion.gresser@club-internet.fr

Abstract

Early experiments showed that administration of mouse interferon preparations inhibited the development of viral-induced or spontaneous viral associated leukemias in mice. Interferon alpha/beta was also shown to inhibit the growth of transplantable tumors of different origins in all strains of mice tested. The finding that interferon alpha/beta inhibited the growth of sublines of tumors selected for resistance to interferon alpha/beta indicated the role of interferon induced host mechanisms in the antitumor effects observed. The different host antitumor mechanisms and especially the interaction of interferon alpha/beta with the immune system have been briefly discussed. Injection of mice with a neutralizing antibody to interferon alpha/beta demonstrated the essential role of endogenous interferon alpha/beta in the defense of the mouse against the development of syngeneic, allogeneic and xenogeneic tumors.

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