The efficacy of IFN-β for treatment of multiple sclerosis can be reduced if patients develop neutralizing antibodies to the drug. Hedström and colleagues studied 695 patients with multiple sclerosis and found that the chance of developing neutralizing antibodies to IFNβ-1a in smokers is almost twice that in nonsmokers. A history of past smoking, however, was not found to influence development of such antibodies. The authors concluded that the results have implications for the practical care and the treatment of multiple sclerosis and give a perspective of the lungs as an immune-reactive organ, reacting upon irritation.

Hedström AK, Ryner M, Fink K, Fogdell-Hahn A, Alfredsson L, Olsson T, Hillert J: Smoking and risk of treatment-induced neutralizing antibodies to interferon β-1a, Multiple Sclerosis [Epub ahead of print, August 7, 2013; doi: 10.1177/1352458513498635].

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