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Topical therapy study results promising for ichthyosis

Photo courtesy of Yale News

A new study from Yale University School of Medicine provides additional evidence that an investigational topical can be beneficial for recessive X-linked and autosomal recessive lamellar congenital ichthyosis.

Accepted for publication in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, the study advances findings from two previous papers published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD). The results of the new study were summarized during an oral presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in New Orleans.

According to the researchers, the novel topical isotretinoin ointment formulation affects retinoic acid receptors in the nucleus of skin cells and normalizes the turnover of skin cells. The study authors report these clinical trial results may lead to the first approved treatment for ichthyosis.

Christopher Bunick, MD, PhD, associate professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine and principal investigator, said in a press release: “Several of my patients have seen transformative results, where their scale is entirely clear, the skin clear for the first time. It is remarkable.”

“The studies show that when patients use the medicine as indicated, most of them show improvement. It is not a cure, however.”

Dr. Bunick is the corresponding author on the three studies, including the article now in-press. The previous trials were focused on the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of the new therapy.

The first study in JAAD included 19 patients treated with two concentrations of the topical (0.1% or 0.2%); the lower concentration proved more efficacious.

The second study, also published in JAAD, included 33 patients and focused on the effectiveness of the treatment using two main measures: the Visual Index for Ichthyosis Severity (VIIS) scale system and the Investigator Global Assessment (IGA). Patients who received a 0.05% concentration of the treatment had a 50% reduction in VIIS and two or more levels of improvement in IGA.

The most recent study, now in-press, assessed the medication in the treatment of two specific types of congenital ichthyosis: lamellar ichthyosis and X-linked recessive ichthyosis.

The researchers determined that all patients in both groups met the VIIS and IGA goals.

In addition to the pain and discomfort of the chronic fissured and scaly skin caused by ichthyosis, the disease also makes wound healing more complicated for patients, who are prone to infection and slow healing.


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