New emerging therapies offer hope to patients

New treatments and therapies available now and in the near future are bringing new hope to patients diagnosed with a host of skin disorders, including psoriasis, acne, rosacea, hair loss, atopic dermatitis, nonmelanoma skin cancer, and infections of the skin. Similarly, emerging therapies are showing new promise for the treatment and possible prevention of scars, as well as developing treatment algorithms to expand options for minimally invasive cosmetic dermatology. 

A panel of presenters spotlighted the latest options during Friday’s “New Emerging Therapies” (S003). Among the presenters, Leon H. Kircik, MD, clinical associate and professor of dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Indiana University School of Medicine, discussed treatments for psoriasis, while Glynis R. Ablon, MD, associate clinical professor at the University of California Los Angeles, explored therapies and patient sensitivity to hair loss. Drs. Kircik and Ablon offered the following pearls from their experience: 

Alopecia

70 million Americans suffer from hair loss. 20 million are female.

Hair growth needs seeds (stem cells surrounding hair follicles) and soil (the environment around the cells) to stimulate their growth. 

There are approximately 256 studies in progress or in completion with
ClinicalTrials.gov.

Ask every patient you see if they are having an issue with their hair.

New discoveries include Wnt signaling glycoproteins, signaling cytokine interrupters (such as JAK inhibitors), fibroblast growth factors, neural stem cells, prostaglandin inhibitors, and lactate dehydrogenase, transcription factors,  regenerative cells (adipocytes, placenta, and umbilical cord matrix stem cells), and botanicals.

Currently available treatments include FDA and non-FDA-approved prescription drugs, supplements, low-level light laser, platelet rich plasma (PRP), and scalp tattooing. 

Psoriasis

While psoriasis is under-treated, there are several effective and safe biologics for patients. 

A rich pipeline of small molecules, such as JAK and TYK inhibitors and ROR gamma inhibitors, is working its way through trials.

Novel classes of drugs with different mechanisms of action of activity will be a welcome addition to the armamentarium of psoriasis treatments.  

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