Jennifer Soung, MD: Findings on Guselkumab for Psoriasis Among Patients with Diverse Skin Types

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In this discussion, Soung discusses the VISIBLE study results on guselkumab and its design for individuals of diverse skin tones.

Newly released findings from the VISIBLE study showed that guselkumab (Tremfya) demonstrates substantial and swift improvements in clearing moderate-to-severe scalp psoriasis for those with diverse skin types, in addition to post-inflammatory pigmentation reduction.

The VISIBLE study is the first large-scale, randomized-controlled trial on guselkumab for individuals with diverse skin tones and plaque psoriasis, including scalp psoriasis. The study was detailed in a previous article, but its implications for patients of diverse skin types were discussed in a new interview with Jennifer Soung, MD, director of clinical research at Southern California Dermatology.

In her interview with the editorial team at HCPLive, Soung spoke on her team’s results seen in VISIBLE and their implications. Patients had reported a 90% improvement in Psoriasis Scalp Severity Index (PSSI) and 86.6% improvement in Scalp Surface Area (SSA) with guselkumab compared to placebo.

“I think we all can acknowledge that scalp psoriasis can be one of those areas that sometimes is a little more challenging to treat because with topicals, it can be really messy,” Soung explained. “And sometimes it's a hidden area. So sometimes a lot of people don't recognize that it can have just as much impact on quality of life with psoriasis and other places. So to be able to have data on using a biologic for scalp psoriasis is really important.”

Soung added that she had been quite impressed with the results after just 1 injection, noting how quickly they saw results. She explained that the scalp can be more stubborn to treat, but the high efficacy of guselkumab was encouraging.

“I think what this data brings, and really highlights what's unique about this study, is the fact that we're looking at patients with non-White skin,” Soung said. “So skin of color, or I like to use the term ‘diverse skin tones.’ So truly studying a systemic medication in patients that actually use the medication. Traditionally, clinical trials have always had a majority of White patients, and really patients of non-White skin are counting only for 15% of the population. But as we know, the US population is diversifying rapidly.”

As Soung pointed out, the VISIBLE study contributed to the ongoing effort to build a library of 20,000 images showing psoriasis across diverse skin tones.

“Our goal is to improve diagnosis…because often patients with skin color have a delay in diagnosis of delaying treatment,” Soung said. “...A lot of times studies have shown that this community does not have access, so for teaching purposes, this is really important. Improving diagnosis. It's also symbolic of, again, increasing access or healthcare equity. That's something that's really important to me too, that everyone has access to the same health care because we do truly have great medications now for psoriasis.”

To find out more about this data covered by Soung, view the full interview above.

The quotes contained in this description were edited for the purposes of clarity.