Dermatology Month in Review: May 2024

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The month of May 2024 featured several notable studies in the field of dermatology, concerning topics such as a potential eczema flare vaccine, mobile versus in-person health, and skin cancer risk.

Within the month of May 2024, a series of unique developments were reported by the editorial team at HCPLive in the field of dermatology. Several new studies on topics such as genetic risk factors for psoriasis, preferences in mobile versus in-person health care, and even a potential vaccine for eczema flares were all covered this month.

In this Month in Review summary, the HCPLive team highlights some of the most prominent examples of such stories. Each of these new developments sheds light on important areas within the dermatology care space.

Skin Cancer More Likely Among Psoriasis Patients Treated with Phototherapy Versus Adalimumab

One unique study covered in May 2024 highlighted new research suggesting that patients with psoriasis may have a greater risk of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) development if treated with phototherapy versus anti-tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) agents. These new findings were the conclusion of research led by Emanuele Trovato, of the department of medical, surgical and neurological sciences’ dermatology unit at the University of Siena in Italy.

“The aim of our study was to evaluate the risk of developing NMSCs in psoriatic patients with a disease duration of less than 6 years, observed for at least 5 years from January 2018 to January 2023, by directly comparing patients only treated with phototherapy and patients treated with anti-TNFα agents, naive to other systemic treatments or phototherapy,” Trovato and colleagues wrote.

Genetic Study Identifies Several Key Risk Factors Linked to Developing Psoriasis

Another study highlighted in May identified 6 psoriasis risk loci in a genome-wide analysis led by Anni Heikkilä from the University of Oulu’s research unit of population health in Finland. Heikkilä and colleagues pointed to new genetic evidence that there was a close link between psoriasis and mood symptoms, socio-economic status, obesity, and level of education.

“To do this, we analyzed genome-wide data of over 900000 people from Finland (FinnGen), Estonia (The Estonian Biobank), and United Kingdom (UK Biobank),” Heikkilä et al. wrote. “We further utilized the newly generated genome-wide results to evaluate genetic correlations and causal inferences between psoriasis and other traits.”

Study Highlights Presentation of Melanoma Among Black Patients to Improve Outcomes

Another study reported in May suggested that non-Hispanic Black (NHB) individuals with melanoma may present with distinct tumor characteristics, noting that such patients with Stage 3 melanoma have cancer-specific survival (CSS) rates which are inferior. This study was conducted to better inform strategies designed to promote early cancer detection and address the lack of tailored melanoma guidelines for those who are not non-Hispanic White (NHW).

“We hypothesized that the presentation, treatment, and outcomes of cutaneous melanoma within the cohort of NHB patients might be different from what is generally reported for cutaneous melanoma focused on nearly exclusively NHW patient cohorts,” Jessica A. Steadman, MBBS, and colleagues wrote.

Mobile Health Apps Versus Dermatologists: Comparing Preferences for Skin Cancer Screening

In research led by Susanne Gaube of UCL Global Business School for Health at the University College London, investigators found that individuals with generally high medical professional mistrust are more likely to opt for a mobile health (mHealth) smartphone application versus dermatologist during a skin cancer screening. In this research, provider and user characteristics were assessed by the team in their efficacy as far as influencing participant determination to implement an mHealth app or a clinician.

“This research provides a comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing people's preferences and decisions between AI-enabled mHealth apps and dermatologists for skin cancer screenings,” Gaube et al. wrote. “Our findings provide valuable insights for technology developers, healthcare providers, and policymakers.”

New 4-Year Extension Trial Results Announced for Deucravacitinib Treatment of Psoriasis

An announcement was made in May by biopharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb regarding their latest 4-year POETYK PSO long-term extension (LTE) trial results on deucravacitinib (Sotyktu) for adult patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. Significant mprovements in subjects’ Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) and static Physician’s Global Assessment (sPGA) scores were highlighted among the findings.

The new data had been presented at the 2024 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Spring Symposium. Deucravacitinib, a selective, oral, allosteric tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) inhibitor, was said to represent the first selective TYK2 inhibitor implemented in clinical research over different forms of immune-mediated conditions.

Key Risk Factors Identified for Psoriasis Transforming Into Psoriatic Arthritis

One significant study highlighted from May suggested that psoriasis patients are at greater risk for developing psoriatic arthritis (PsA) if they are in the age range of ≥40 years, report nail involvement, maintain high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), or report an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR).

These new results on independent risk factors were the conclusion of a study led by Amin Yao, Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University department of dermatology in Guangzhou, China.

“MRI is increasingly employed to evaluate and detect rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other inflammatory joint diseases,” Yao et al. wrote. “This study attempted to identify the possible risk factors for the transformation of PsO into clinical PsA and explore the clinical value of MRI in detecting PsA early.”

Study Lays Groundwork for Potential Vaccine Customized for Children with Recurrent Eczema Flares

New research also reported in May suggests the potential future development of a customized vaccine for the purposes of treating bacterial-triggered atopic dermatitis (AD) flare-ups among children. This data highlighted the immune response mechanisms observed among AD cases connected to the Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) bacterium, and the research was conducted at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland.

“While an interaction between the Staphylococcus aureus bug and eczema has been known for many decades, novel scientific approaches are continuing to make key discoveries about the complex relationship between these bacteria and human responses to it,” study author Alan Irvine said in a statement. “Our work outlines new discoveries about how children with eczema respond immunologically to infection with this common bacterium.”