Psoriasis Treatments Among Hot Topics at AAD Meeting

Marcia Frellick

February 27, 2017

ORLANDO — Psoriasis treatments — including a debate about which biologic or other therapy should be used in the first-line setting for moderate to severe disease — will be in the spotlight at the upcoming American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Annual Meeting.

There will also be discussions on the interchangeability of biosimilars and the effect of comorbidities on treatment decisions, said Allison Vidimos, MD, from the Cleveland Clinic, who is chair of the AAD scientific assembly.

Dr Allison Vidimos

Vitamin D is another hot topic that will be featured at the meeting, as health benefits continue to unfold and to be challenged. Evidenced-based recommendations on vitamin D supplements, photoprotection, and the role of vitamin D in skin health, including carcinogenesis and immunity, will be examined in one of two forums devoted to controversies, Dr Vidimos reported.

The other controversies forum will look at challenges in contact dermatitis and patch testing, she told Medscape Medical News. Systemic contact dermatitis, the management of patch-test-negative dermatitis, and the meaning of "hypoallergenic" as it relates to personal care products will all be discussed.

Dr Erik Stratman

Organs beyond the skin that are seemingly affected with skin disease will be a theme running through the conference, said Erik Stratman, MD, program director at the University of Missouri–Columbia School of Medicine, and member of the AAD scientific assembly committee.

Cardiovascular risk and severe bowel disorders are associated with some skin diseases, he pointed out, and there is a growing realization that inflammation in the skin might be harming the whole body.

Emerging skin problems in patients with HIV infection, skin diseases associated with hepatitis C, Kaposi's sarcoma, and human papillomavirus (HPV), and treatment options will be examined during one hot-topic session.

"These are things that elevate the importance of the dermatologist's role in the overall health of the patient," Dr Stratman explained.

In addition, there will be plenty of hands-on training at the meeting, he reported.

Dermatologists will be able to hone their communication and clinical skills in simulation labs that qualify for maintenance of certification credit.

Simulations, Procedures

In some simulations, clinicians will role-play delivering bad news or explaining medication management, for example, to an expert posing as a patient, who will provide feedback on the interaction. Other simulations will involve nail biopsy, cosmetic injection, scar revision, lasers, suture techniques, electrosurgery and cryotherapy, and sclerotherapy of varicose veins.

And clinicians will be able to practice onabotulinumtoxinA (Botox) injections and other wrinkle-reduction techniques on high-fidelity head and neck models during the hands-on session on dermal fillers.

"This is one of the more powerful learning modalities of the conference," Dr Stratman told Medscape Medical News. "You have some of the world's top experts in cosmetic dermatology standing with you and four other people around a head model, showing you how they do it and then giving you tips as they watch you do it."

Dr Hensin Tsao

Of the 498 scientific sessions, 59 have an audience-participation component. Attendees will answer questions, weigh in on controversies, or contribute examples from their own practices.

"This was a banner year for submissions," and psoriasis treatments will "play a significant role" in the late-breaking abstracts, said Hensin Tsao, MD, PhD, clinical director of the Melanoma and Pigmented Lesion Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, who is AAD coordinator for the late-breakers.

"There were 180 abstracts submitted, but space for only 48 talks. The science overall was top-notch," he said.

There will be also be abstracts on atopic dermatitis, pruritus, pediatric dermatology, cosmetic dermatology, and cutaneous oncology, he reported.

Dr Vidimos, Dr Tsao, and Dr Stratman have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

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