‘What’s new in dermatology?’

In advance of Tuesday’s symposium session “What’s New in Dermatology” (S067), dermatologists identified some exciting news from across the specialty.

Mark Lebwohl, MD
Professor and chairman, department of dermatology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Our ability to create targeted therapies called biologics has dramatically increased our ability to treat conditions like psoriasis. Multiple new biologics have been introduced in the past year. The newest agents target cytokines called IL-17 and IL-23. The ones that block IL-17 are very fast, appear to be quite safe, and are highly effective. There are patients who are born with deficiencies in IL-17, and the only thing they appear to get is yeast infections. That’s what we saw in the clinical trials of these agents, and it is the only side effect that has emerged consistently. The first IL-23 was introduced only a few months ago. It has proven to be very effective, even though it requires far fewer injections than previous therapies. We anticipate several additional anti-IL-23 antibodies to be introduced in the next year or two.

Lawrence F. Eichenfield, MD
Professor of dermatology and pediatrics, and vice chair, department of dermatology, University of California, San Diego; chief, pediatric and adolescent dermatology, Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego

There have been some fascinating developments in the world of pediatric dermatology. Atopic dermatitis is an incredibly prevalent disease that has a marked impact on the quality of life of affected children. The introduction of topical crisaborole, a topical PDE-inhibitor, gives us the first truly new product for AD care since 2001. A recently published paper on crisaborole reviews its use over six months to one year in more than 500 patients, giving us useful information to support the medication as a safe topical agent. Other interesting work in the field highlights the mental health effects of atopic dermatitis, especially its association with ADHD symptoms and diagnosis. A recent study displayed an association of antihistamine use with ADHD, something that is certain to create concerns among health care practitioners and patients.

Desiree Ratner, MD
Professor of dermatology and director, Comprehensive Skin Cancer Center, Mount Sinai Health System

The explosion in targeted therapies over the past few years has changed how we think about and treat aggressive cutaneous cancers. Molecular testing can now identify aberrant genes present in our patients’ tumors, enabling us to individualize their treatment. Vismodegib and sonidegib, which block the sonic hedgehog pathway, have shown promise in treating patients with previously inoperable and metastatic basal cell carcinomas. Cetuximab, an epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor, is now used to treat advanced squamous cell carcinoma patients. A new group of drugs, known as programmed death 1 (PD-1) inhibitors, has been used successfully in patients with advanced melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma, as well as with locally advanced squamous cell carcinomas. The future of cutaneous oncology has arrived, and for the most part, it looks very, very bright.


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