MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Brett A. King, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor Department of Dermatology
School of Medicine
New Haven, CT 06520
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Recent advances in the understanding of the pathogenesis of alopecia areata (AA) have yielded Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors as a promising therapy. Short-term treatment with the JAK inhibitor, tofacitinib, has shown efficacy for severe AA, alopecia totalis (AT), and alopecia universalis (AU), but long-term data are lacking.
In this retrospective series of patients aged 18 years or older treated with tofacitinib, of 65 potential responders to therapy, defined as those with AT or AU with duration of current episode of disease of 10 years or less or AA, 77% achieved at least some hair regrowth, with 58% of patients achieving greater than 50% change in SALT score and 20% of patients achieving complete scalp hair regrowth over 4 to 18 months of treatment. Tofacitinib was well tolerated, and there were no serious adverse events.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Tofacitinib should be considered for the treatment of severe alopecia areata, alopecia totalis, and alopecia universalis.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Large, prospective clinical trials using JAK inhibitors for the treatment of AA in both adults and adolescents are needed.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Alopecia areata is often associated with poor health-related quality of life, and its association with psychiatric conditions including anxiety and depression is well documented. It is not a cosmetic condition but rather a medical disorder that merits treatment.
In a companion article, Tofacitinib for the treatment of alopecia areata and variants in adolescents, we evaluated the treatment of 13 patients aged 12-17 years with tofacitinib and showed that it is effective and well tolerated in this age group. Because the onset of AA is frequently in early childhood or adolescence, often a vulnerable time for patients and families, tofacitinib treatment of severe AA might be considered in adolescents.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Tofacitinib for the treatment of alopecia areata and variants in adolescents
Brittany G. Craiglow, Lucy Y. Liu, Brett A. King
Publication stage: In Press Corrected Proof
Published online: November 2, 2016
Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.
More Medical Research Interviews on MedicalResearch.com