Alopecia Areata Trial Results, Skin Oncology Top EADV Agenda

Marcia Frellick

August 29, 2018

PARIS — Early results from an efficacy and safety trial of JAK inhibitors for moderate to severe alopecia areata will be in the spotlight here at the 27th European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress.

Brigitte Dréno

Twenty-four-week results from the phase 2a randomized, multicenter, placebo-controlled study (NCT02974868) will be among the most closely watched presentations, according to Brigitte Dréno, MD, PhD, from Nantes University Hospital in France, who is incoming chair of the scientific program.

Sustainable treatments for the autoimmune disorder, characterized by unpredictable hair loss, are few, which has frustrated physicians and patients.

The focus of the meeting will be skin oncology, she told Medscape Medical News, and genetic predisposition, environmental influences, melanoma, lymphomas, nonmelanoma skin cancer, and adverse effects from chemotherapies and targeted therapies will be highlighted.

A plenary lecture on whether metastatic melanoma will be curable in the future will be delivered by Christian Blank, MD, PhD, from the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam.

Martin Röcken

Skin oncology was chosen as the focus because many adverse effects of immunotherapies used to treat skin cancer are skin-related, and dermatologists are seeing the effects in their daily practice as their use becomes more common, said Martin Röcken, MD, PhD, from the University of Tübingen in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, who is current chair of the scientific program.

A keynote address on the skin microbiome in health and disease will be delivered by Elizabeth Grice, PhD, from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

"This new, very exciting field is going to modify the management of inflammatory cutaneous diseases," Dréno said.

The meeting will also explore the interplay between dermatology and internal medicine.

"This is important because many internal skin diseases manifest on the skin," Röcken explained. "For example, sarcoidosis is normally detected on the skin. As dermatologists, we have to think also about the heart, brain, and lungs."

Veronica Kinsler

The genetics of birthmarks and moles — with a focus on congenital melanocytic nevi, or moles that develop in the womb and can grow with the fetus to cover a large percentage of skin surface — will be examined in another keynote address, delivered by Veronica Kinsler, MD, PhD, from the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London.

"We found, several years ago, that they are due to a genetic mutation in the baby in the womb, which leads to mosaicism, in which some of the cells in the body are normal and some are mutated," Kinsler told Medscape Medical News. "Mosaicism is big news at the moment."

"In many parts of the world, birthmarks are viewed as a real stigma and have a major impact on psychosocial wellbeing and the ability of patients and families to get work or be accepted," she explained.

On the final day of the conference — aesthetic Sunday — 10 global experts in cosmetic and aesthetic dermatology will present the latest on energy-based devices, including lasers, fillers, botulinum toxin, noninvasive body-contouring peels, and scars.

Dréno reports financial relationships with Roche, BMS, Novartis, Fabre, R Posay, and Bioderma. Röcken and Kinsler have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Follow Medscape Dermatology on Twitter @MedscapeDerm and Marcia Frellick @mfrellick

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