The discovery and naming of interferon by Isaacs and Lindenmann1 has led to the establishment of a new field of research involving virology, immunology, tumor destruction, cell biology, and molecular genetics, as well as other disciplines. The bearers of interference (interferons) constitute a class of glycoproteins exhibiting antitumor, antiviral, and immunologic properties. Three types of interferons are currently recognized: interferon alfa (alpha leukocyte interferon), interferon beta (fibroblast interferon), and interferon gamma (immune interferon). All three types of interferon have specific structures with interferon alfa and beta being most closely related. Multiple subtypes exist for interferon alfa and several for interferon beta.
In this issue of the Archives, Edwards and coworkers2 demonstrate the antitumor effect of interferon alfa-2b in a sustained release formulation for the treatment of basal cell carcinomas. Two treatment regimens were utilized: a single injection of 10 million IU and a similar regimen (10 million IU) given