3 ways derm related research is influencing medicine


Research findings, which are expected to impact medicine far beyond dermatology, were presented during the 24th Congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) in Copenhagen, Denmark from Oct. 7 to 11, 2015.

1) Insights into how skin cancer suppresses immunity will also lead to novel treatment options for other cancers

The first broadly efficient cancer immunotherapy has been developed in dermatology as a treatment for metastatic melanoma. The anti-PD-1 therapy can hold the progression of metastatic disease for more than 18 months, according to a new study (N Engl J Med. Jan. 2015; 372(4):320-330). Dr. Martin Röcken, Tübingen, Germany, EADV Scientific Programming Committee chairman, stated in a press release that the therapy will also be tested as treatment for other malignancies—and there is the potential that patients with lung cancer, bladder cancer, or kidney cancer might benefit from it.

2) Research in psoriasis has led to new treatment options for inflammatory bowel diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis

Also presented at the congress was about how the identification of disease pathways in psoriasis and the development of new targeted drugs (e.g. inhibitors of IL-17 and IL-23) has helped to understand the origin of inflammatory bowel diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, treatments originally developed for psoriasis are now investigated in these diseases, and may be implemented in their standard therapy.

3) Nobel Prize awards linked to dermatology

The EADV also noted that the importance of the specialty was also highlighted by the selection of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. It was awarded in October to William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura for therapy that treats a skin disease caused by parasites. As well, Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich, and Aziz Sancar were awarded The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their research into the mechanisms that cells use to repair DNA, which the EADV stated is vital for the understanding of skin cancer pathogenesis and skin ageing.

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