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July 1981

A Clinical Screening Program for Topical Chemotherapeutic Drugs in Psoriasis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, University of Miami School of Medicine, (Drs Weinstein, McCullough, Eaglstein, and Golub); Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, Calif (Drs Cornell and Stoughton); the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic, Hanover, NH (Dr Clendenning); the Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco (Drs Zackheim and Maibach); Division of Dermatology, University of Tennessee, Memphis (Drs Kulp and King); Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Mass (Dr Baden); Department of Dermatology, the Cleveland Clinic (Dr Taylor); and Department of Dermatology, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif (Dr Deneau). Drs Weinstein and McCullough are now with the University of California, California College of Medicine, Irvine. Dr Eaglstein is now with the University of Pittsburgh. Dr King is now with Vanderbilt University and the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.

Arch Dermatol. 1981;117(7):388-393. doi:10.1001/archderm.1981.01650070016013

• In this national, multicenter cooperative study, a standardized drug screening program was designed and evaluated to test the clinical effectiveness of 30 topically applied chemotherapeutic drugs to psoriasis. Appropriate concentrations and vehicles for topical administration were selected with regard to potential systemic toxic effects and local skin irritation. The clinical testing consisted of a double-blind application of test agents to psoriatic plaques under occlusion daily for up to nine days. Drugs known to be topically active in psoriasis, eg, thiotepa, fluorouracil, and betamethasone valerate, were easily detected in the clinical protocol, confirming the validity of this topical drug screening program. Seven drugs produced substantial clinical improvement with evidence of clearing; nine drugs produced slight improvement; 14 drugs had no effect. No systemic toxic reactions occurred. This screen should be useful to test other potential antipsoriatic drugs and to evaluate potential animal model screens for their predictive values with these same drugs.

(Arch Dermatol 1981;117:388-393)

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