Home > Dermatology > WCD 2019 > Small Molecules – What to Expect > Novel treatment options in alopecia areata and vitiligo

Novel treatment options in alopecia areata and vitiligo

Presented By
Prof. Brett King, Yale University School of Medicine, USA
WCD 2019

Small molecules have demonstrated remarkable efficacy in alopecia areata and vitiligo. In both autoimmune diseases, Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors are the first specific effective therapy.

Alopecia areata (AA) is a non-scarring alopecia, which affects about 1-2% of the population. As Prof. Brett King (Yale University School of Medicine, USA) emphasised, there is a high medical need for treatment options, especially for advanced disease [1]. Research using human clinical samples and a mouse model demonstrated that cytotoxic T lymphocytes mediate AA in part through JAK signalling [2]. IL-15 and IFNγ are key cytokines in the development of AA and can be blocked by JAK inhibitors.

The first report of the efficacy of a JAK inhibitor was published after a psoriasis patient with concomitant AA was treated with tofacitinib and experienced a complete regrowth of hair [3]. After this experience, a first open-label trial with the JAK inhibitor tofacitinib was p...

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