Advances in lasers, PRP, gene editing drive AAD Summer Meeting

The 2017 AAD Summer Meeting covered a variety of important issues that drew more than 3,200 people.

Hitting on hot topics ranging from the effectiveness of platelet-rich plasma to breakthroughs in gene editing to battling physician burnout, the 2017 AAD Summer Meeting delivered a robust education program that attracted more than 3,200 people to the New York Hilton Midtown.

The July 28 Plenary session was a focal point for the meeting, with six speakers exploring the latest science and practice issues of interest in dermatology:

  • Terrence Keaney, MD, who presented “Platelet-Rich Plasma: Hype or Hope?” said of PRP, “I don’t think it’s just hype, but there is still a lot of hope involved with it.” PRP has a range of potential applications, such as the treatment of androgenic alopecia and chronic wounds, and skin rejuvenation, but the designs of studies of these treatments and their results have varied.
  • CRISPR expert Samuel H. Sternberg, PhD, said of gene-editing technology advances, “It allows you to really think about treating disease in a different way. Instead of persistent treatments that might require daily or weekly administration, you could turn to a one-time treatment that edits enough of the patient’s cells at the DNA level to eliminate the causative mutation at its source.”
  • Marta Van Beek, MD, MPH, delivered a just-released update on the Academy’s important research project, “The Burden of Skin Disease in the United States.” The study looked at 24 common skin diseases and the effect of new treatments on those diseases.
  • Pearl Grimes, MD, a leading vitiligo researcher and clinician, said of research advances, “We are truly at a watershed moment. The science is there, and the interest is there, so I think the future is bright. We will have better treatments for patients devastated by vitiligo because the bench has finally reached the bedside, catapulting us to new therapeutic peaks.”
  • Michael C. Milone, MD, PhD, a pioneer in the use of adoptive cellular therapy, explained how it works and how close researchers are to using it to treat the blistering disease pemphigus vulgaris.
  • AAD President Henry W. Lim, MD, explored the evolution of health care and said, “Successfully transitioning — adapting — to those changes is especially challenging for all of medicine, and for our specialty. Nationally, we are in the middle of a health care system in deep turmoil and uncertainty.”

Other sessions shared tips for using lasers in aesthetic procedures and dermoscopy for earlier detection of cancers, discussed involving patients in surgery decisions, and explored the increasing promise of nanotechnology.

If you want to learn even more, tap into the tips from AAD members about everything from practice to surgery, plus review new research about burnout, and learn about the latest advances in reversing hair loss, as well as managing non-melanoma cancers and pigmented lesions that could turn into melanomas.

Finally, mark your calendars for Feb. 16-20, 2018, so you can experience these important advances and updates for yourself at the 2018 AAD Annual Meeting in San Diego.

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