American Academy of Dermatology Meeting Excepts
This years meeting in Denver was a vibrant affair packed with the latest research findings in all areas of dermatology. There were several thousand dermatologists and researchers at the meeting which was held at the Colorado Convention Centre in downtown Colorado. Some of the highlights of the meeting are listed below
Melanoma: In these blog pages some of the recent advances in melanoma research have already been discussed, namely the success of the drugs ipilimumab, vemurafenib and the latest programmed death ligand inhibitors. This area of research continues to be alive with ongoing efforts to identify new drugs that target and inhibit melanoma growth pathways. Current studies are looking at combination therapies between these drugs to see if the survival benefit in advanced melanoma can be further improved.
It is with sadness that we at the Harley Street Dermatology Clinic, learnt of the death of veteran actor James Rebhorn from malignant melanoma . We hope that the research outlined above will eventually offer hope to those unfortunate enough to suffer from advanced melanoma.
Psoriasis: Already the drugs that target and block cell signaling chemicals involved in the inflammatory pathways of psoriasis are main-stream medication. These drugs are classed as ‘biological’ drugs and include those which block tumour necrosis factor action (etanercept, infliximab, adalimumab) or interleukin (IL) 12 and 23 (ustekinemab). New biological drugs are under investigation to block IL-23 and IL-17. Preliminary studies look extremely promising.
Chronic urticaria: This condition is common in patients with allergy, hayfever, asthma and eczema and gives rise to itchy hives and welts through mechanisms which might lead to high circulation immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels in the bloodstream. Although anti-histamines are the mainstay of therapy in chronic urticarial at the current moment, the use of a specific biological drug to block free IgE was highlighted at the conference (see earlier March blog entries). The drug Omalizumab has just received Food and Drug Administraion (FDA) approval for use in the USA.