Recombinant interferon-gamma (rIFN-gamma) in dermatology.
This paper gives a short review on the function, pharmacokinetics, and therapeutic application of recombinant interferon-gamma (rIFN-gamma) in dermatology. Simultaneously, our own experiences are presented for 57 patients (phase II study) suffering from genital warts (21 patients), psoriatic arthritis (10 patients), psoriasis vulgaris (three patients), malignant melanoma (six patients), bowenoid papulosis (four patients), Behcet's disease (four patients), basal cell carcinoma (six patients), as well as herpes simplex recidivans, epidermodysplasia verruciformis, and mycosis fungoides (one patient each). We conclude that there might be an indication for treatment with rIFN-gamma in genital warts, bowenoid papulosis, Behcet's disease, and microbial infections, such as leprosy and cutaneous leishmaniasis. Even though there are reports of a limited beneficial effect of rIFN-gamma on arthritis and skin lesions in psoriasis, we failed to observe any in 10 patients. The main side effects in our low-dose study (50-100 micrograms/d) were mild fever (78%), fatigue (78%), and myalgia (65%). Laboratory tests revealed an increase in the serum triglyceride level, in particular, in psoriatic patients.