Dr. Christopher Griffiths, an expert on psoriasis research presented his findings at Dermatology Update 2016. In this interview, he shares the latest findings in psoriasis research and his outlook on dermatology and medicine as a whole.
For psoriasis patients, particularly with moderate and severe involvement, this is significant news, and reason to be delighted. Psoriasis is a chronic disease and one in which treatment and even maintenance have been challenging.
Specific to psoriasis treatment, Dr. Griffiths believes that by taking a translational approach and looking closely at critical cytokines, psoriasis treatment is on the verge of a breakthrough. The next generation of drugs that specifically target interleukin-17 and interleukin-23 looks promising for patients who may be able to get long-term clearance from psoriasis, something that has been elusive up to this point. While short-term clearance of moderate or severe psoriasis (say, over 12-20 weeks) is possible for some, many people eventually have psoriasis recurring at present. For these patients, there may be a reason to believe in a more maintainable clearance.
On a more larger topic, medicine, in general, is undergoing a paradigm shift and heading in the direction of personalized or stratified treatment–that is, a tailored treatment that takes the patient’s uniqueness into account. Currently, treatments are a one size fits all solution–that is, a certain dose of a particular medication is prescribed for patients exhibiting certain symptoms. The problem is that everyone metabolizes medication differently, and many variables are individual and unique. Advances in the genomics, proteomics, transcriptomics–the “omics,” have allowed for the very real possibility for tailored treatments, not just in drug choices and dosing, but also tailored lifestyle advice.