Maureen Salamon

September 07, 2017

GENEVA — Immunotherapies, which are transforming treatment options, are the designated hot topic at this year's European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress.

Delegates can expect 2 days of talks on clinical immunology, including the latest developments in allergic and autoimmune diseases, immunodeficiencies, and infectious and malignant diseases.

"For the first time in 50 years, we have practice-changing, novel treatments for patients with late-stage metastatic tumors, which make up perhaps 10% to 12% of patients," said Martin Röcken, MD, from the University of Tübingen in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, who is chair of the EADV scientific programming committee.

Dr Röcken is looking forward to presentations on novel treatments for metastatic melanomas and Merkel cell carcinoma, he told Medscape Medical News.

"We see frequently that some immunosuppressant agents come with distinct side effects that clinicians need to know about," he explained. For these agents, "about 20% of the data are very new, so it's key that they are brought from clinical trials to the clinicians."

Research findings on novel therapies for severe pruritis and atopic dermatitis will top the packed meeting agenda. Experimental psoriasis treatments that target interleukin-23, a proinflammatory cytokine, will also be discussed. This type of agent could eventually supersede some of the drug antibodies that are currently prescribed, Dr Röcken reported.

For the first time in 50 years, we have practice-changing, novel treatments for patients with late-stage metastatic tumors.

"We have a lot of classic antibody therapies that are only 10 years old," he said. "And now we're moving toward treatments with small molecules that interfere in psoriasis and may one day replace antibody therapies."

Among the topics covered in the seven keynote lectures will be systemic sclerosis and scleroderma-type diseases, lupus erythematosus, live skin imaging, and visualization of immune responses to infection. And spotlight sessions will provide the latest developments in a spectrum of dermatology and venereology areas, such as dermato-oncologic surgery, necrotizing skin and soft tissue infections, and sexually transmitted infections.

"At the congress, we have two or three tasks," Dr Röcken explained. "One is to give basic training; another is to [make people aware] of the most advanced therapies that are currently approved." And for attendees looking for the latest cutting-edge research in clinical dermatology, there are expert forums.

On Aesthetic Sunday, ten specialists in cosmetic and aesthetic dermatology will address topics such as energy-based devices (including lasers); peels, fillers, and Botulinum toxin; scars; and complications.

Geneva, which is home to the World Health Organization, the International Red Cross, and the United Nations, is also known for its precision, scientific excellence, and diversity, said Dr Röcken. "We have top science in a wonderful environment," he added.

Dr Röcken reports financial relationships with AB Science, Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Pharmaceuticals, Almirall Hermal, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Biogen Idec, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Galderma, GSK, Hokusai, Janssen-Cilag, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Merck, MSD Sharp & Dohme, Novartis, Pfizer, Philogen, Roche, Sanofi-Regeneron, Schering-Plough, and Sterna Biologicals.

Follow Medscape Dermatology on Twitter @MedscapeDerm and Maureen Salamon @maureensalamon

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