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Dermatology Specialty Updates

July 2016

UVA-1 offers alternative to PUVA

UVA-1 phototherapy is now available for patients referred to dermatology specialists at the University of Minnesota Health Clinics and Surgery Center. The UVA-1 device is the only one of its kind in the Twin Cities area. For patients whose conditions qualify, UVA-1 can achieve the same anti-inflammatory effects of PUVA without the need for psoralen and its associated side effects of dyspepsia and photosensitization.

Phase III trial of rituximab announced

Patients with the blistering disorder pemphigus vulgaris are eligible for enrollment in a University of Minnesota Health multicenter study evaluating the efficacy and safety of intravenous rituximab versus standard treatment with mycophenolate mofetil. Traditional combination therapy with immunosuppressive medications and corticosteroids results in relapse in at least half of patients. Treatment with rituximab has led to reported remission rates of 85% in patients in small clinical trials.1 The new study, which will enroll 124 patients, is accepting adults aged 18 to 75 who are taking oral prednisone for moderate-to-severely active pemphigus vulgaris and who have received the diagnosis within the last 24 months. Email sfinder@umn.edu for information. Dermatology clinical trials: 612-624-5721.

Link between immune cells, dermatologic disorders described

Antigen-presenting immune cells in skin may have a connection to certain dermatologic disorders, reports a recent study authored by University of Minnesota Center for Immunology researchers and colleagues.2 The research team found that keratinocytes in human epidermis must express TGF-β in response to ultraviolet radiation in order to prevent immune cells from migrating out of the epithelium. This work, performed in collaboration with Yale, the Mayo Clinic, the University of California at San Francisco, and the University of Pittsburgh, could provide a pharmacologic target for vitiligo and alopecia areata. The article appears in the April 2016 issue of Nature Immunology.

References

  1. Ahmed AR, Kaveri S, Spigelman Z. Long-term remissions in recalcitrant pemphigus vulgaris. New Engl J Med. 2015; 373(27): 2693-2694.
  2. Mohammed J, Beura LK, Bobr A, et al. Stromal cells control the epithelial residence of DCs and memory T cells by regulated activation of TGF-β. Nat Immunol. 2016; 17(4): 414-421.
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