Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA / 01.06.2019 Interview with: Jung Min Bae, MD, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology St. Vincent's Hospital College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea What is the background for this study? Response: Vitiligo is a common chronic skin disease affecting 1% of the population, and it causes low self-esteem and social stigma. To date, there are no approved drugs for the treatment of vitiligo, even though growing evidence indicates favorable therapeutic responses of topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs) including tacrolimus and pimecrolimus. In this study, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of all relevant prospective studies (n = 46) and identified remarkable therapeutic responses of TCI monotherapy and TCI plus phototherapy for vitiligo. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Genetic Research, Nature / 13.10.2016 Interview with: Richard A. Spritz, M.D. Professor and Director, Human Medical Genetics and Genomics Program University of Colorado School of Medicine. Aurora, CO 80045 USA What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease in which depigmented skin results from destruction of skin melanocytes, with strong epidemiologic association with several other autoimmune diseases that include autoimmune thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pernicious anemia, systemic lupus erythematosus, and Addison’s disease. In previous genetic linkage and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of vitiligo patients of European-derived white ancestry (EUR), we identified 27 vitiligo susceptibility loci. In the present study, we carried out a third GWAS of vitiligo in EUR subjects. The combined analysis, with almost 5,000 vitiligo cases and 40,000 non-vitiligo controls, identified a total 23 new confirmed vitiligo loci, as well as seven with suggestive significance. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Technology / 18.01.2016

More on Dermatology on Interview with: Jung Min Bae, MD, PhD Department of Dermatology, St. Vincent's Hospital, College of Medicine The Catholic University of Korea, Suwon Korea Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: Vitiligo is one of the major challenging skin diseases. Although a number of interventions have been done in the treatment of vitiligo, no definitive curative treatment exists. Narrowband ultraviolet B phototherapy is considered the mainstay of vitiligo treatment, and 308-nm excimer laser/light therapy has gained popularity for localized vitiligo. However, they are not effective in all patients with vitiligo, and the combination therapies with topical agents are widely applied to increase the response rates of these treatment modalities in clinical practice. We sought to compare the efficacy of excimer laser/light and topical agent combination therapy versus excimer laser/light  monotherapy for vitiligo. We performed a systematic review and meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials in this subject.  Medical Research: What are the main findings? Response: According to our study, the combination therapy of excimer laser/light and topical calcineurin inhibitors showed almost a two-fold increase in treatment success rate (≥75% repigmentation) compared to excimer laser/light monotherapy (relative risk 1.93). The combination therapy also reduced the treatment failure rate (<25% repigmentation) by almost half (relative risk 0.43). Addition of topical vitamin-D3 analogs or topical corticosteroids on excimer laser/light showed insufficient evidence to support their use in combination therapies yet. Considering the difficulites in complete recovery of vitiligo, the combination therapies enhancing the treatment response are promising. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, NIH, Transplantation / 11.09.2014 Interview with: Rena Zuo, BA MD Candidate at Duke University School of Medicine and Edward W. Cowen, MD, MHSc Senior Clinician Head, Dermatology Consultation Service Dermatology Branch Center for Cancer Research National Cancer Institute National Institutes of Health MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?
 Answer: Chronic graft-vs-host disease (cGVHD) is a debilitating multisystem disease that occurs in patients receiving allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantations as treatment for hematologic disorders. Although the diverse clinical presentations of cGVHD frequently mimic other autoimmune diseases such as Sjögren syndrome and systemic sclerosis, and low-titer antibodies are commonly found in patients with cGVHD, the exact pathogenesis and role of autoimmunity in cGVHD are incompletely understood. Our study is the first to characterize and identify risk factors associated with the development of two uncommon autoimmune phenomena, specifically alopecia areata and vitiligo, in the setting of cGVHD. Laboratory markers, including 11 antibodies, transplant-related factors, and other cGVHD systemic manifestations were analyzed. Several particularly interesting results were found:
  1. Among 282 patients with cGVHD, 15 demonstrated vitiligo (14 of 282; 4.9%) and/or alopecia areata (2 of 282; 0.7%).
  2. Female donor and female donor to male recipient sex mismatch, in particular, are significantly associated with the development of vitiligo and/or alopecia areata.
  3. Positive anti-cardiolipin (ACA) IgG was also significantly associated with development of vitiligo and/or alopecia areata.