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May 2002

Biologic Therapy for Psoriasis: The New Therapeutic Frontier

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Ill.

Arch Dermatol. 2002;138(5):657-663. doi:10.1001/archderm.138.5.657

Objectives  (1) To develop a clinically useful model with which dermatologists can understand the potential uses of biologic therapy for psoriasis and understand the potential differences among these novel drugs, (2) to discuss the process by which recombinant DNA technology is used to develop rationally designed protein medications along with the potential benefits and difficulties of therapy with biologic agents, and (3) to provide a short review of the medications under development for psoriasis.

Data Sources  The pertinent literature was reviewed with particular emphasis on published, randomized, and placebo-controlled trials. Phase 1 and early phase 2 trials were also included in our review when more stringent studies were not available. Studies presented as peer-reviewed abstracts at major conferences were also reviewed.

Conclusions  With the development of recombinant DNA techniques, it has become possible to develop new biologic therapies that can be designed to specifically alter physiological responses. These new drugs are in use in many different medical fields and will soon be available for the treatment of dermatological diseases, primarily psoriasis. Dermatologists should be familiar with the potential benefits and risks of these therapies to make rational decisions concerning their use in the treatment of their patients with psoriasis.

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