Biologics that target the immune system give doctors an opportunity to treat diseases like psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.
Biologics are becoming growingly important for treating patients with chronic skin diseases that attack the immune system, such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.
In an interview with MD Magazine® during the 2nd Annual Advanced Practice Collaborative, Margaret Bobonich, DNP, DCNP, an assistant professor with Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, explained just how important these therapies are.
MD Mag: What is the specific benefit of biologic therapies in psoriasis and atopic dermatitis?
Bobonich: So, biologic therapies are really important therapy now that we have for patients with chronic skin diseases like psoriasis as well as atopic dermatitis. The reason why they're very important is two-fold. One, we've used many drugs in the past that have a broad immunosuppression.
Biologics give us the opportunity to treat psoriasis or atopic dermatitis by targeting the parts of the immune system that are responsible for those diseases. So therefore, we are just targeting those cytokines that cause inflammation. So, it's been very successful because there are fewer side-effects and better efficacy.
MD Mag: Have treatment dosage and regimens been properly identified with consideration to psoriasis or eczema progression or improvement?
Bobonich: So, over the past decade the science and the technology has really advanced in the care of psoriasis patients as well as atopic dermatitis and now we have many biologics available to us for the treatment of moderate to severe type of psoriasis. So, we know that we can now expect complete clearance for patients, which a decade ago was unheard of. We also have agents that we can use that also target not only plaque psoriasis but psoriatic arthritis.
Our newest agents in atopic dermatitis have been the first time we've had a systemic treatment that was FDA approved for moderate to severe atopic dermatitis. It's really, really changed the lives of our patients and so it's exciting to see and there is more to come.
MD Mag: What areas of research still need to be addressed for biologics?
Bobonich: So, biologics are new science and technology. There's so many parts of our immune system and there's so much of disease and understanding the pathogenesis to things like psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. So, we need to know more we need more research into what relationships does psoriasis have to all the comorbidities such as diabetes cardiovascular disease.
We're learning more about lymphoma about non-melanoma skin cancers. So, our immune system doesn't affect just our skin it affects our entire body. so there has to be a lot more research going forward for that and we have many, many drugs that are being studied now and so we'll likely see more be FDA-approved for psoriatic arthritis plaque psoriasis as well as atopic dermatitis.