Interferon signaling in cancer. Non-canonical pathways and control of intracellular immune checkpoints

Diana Nora Vaz Saleiro, Leonidas C Platanias*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The interferons (IFNs) are cytokines with important antineoplastic and immune modulatory effects. These cytokines have been conserved through evolution as important elements of the immune surveillance against cancer. Despite this, defining their precise and specific roles in the generation of antitumor responses remains challenging. Emerging evidence suggests the existence of previously unknown roles for IFNs in the control of the immune response against cancer that may redefine our understanding on how these cytokines function. Beyond the engagement of classical JAK-STAT signaling pathways that promote transcription and expression of gene products, the IFNs engage multiple other signaling cascades to generate products that mediate biological responses and outcomes. There is recent emerging evidence indicating that IFNs control the expression of both traditional immune checkpoints like the PD-L1/PD1 axis, but also less well understood “intracellular” immune checkpoints whose targeting may define new approaches for the treatment of malignancies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101299
JournalSeminars in Immunology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • Cancer
  • Immune checkpoint
  • Immune response
  • Interferon
  • Non-canonical pathways
  • Signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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