Although they were discovered in the 1950s, the medical use of interferons was impractical until the recombinant DNA techniques of genetic engineering made it possible to mass produce them. Interferons used as drugs include alpha-interferon, for hepatitis B and C, human papillomavirus, hairy-cell leukemia, and Kaposi's sarcoma (a cancer associated with AIDS), and beta-interferon, for multiple sclerosis.
See also immunity.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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