Conference Coverage

Study highlights need to investigate psoriasis treatment outcomes in skin of color patients


Key clinical point: There were no significant differences in response to calcipotriene and betamethasone dipropionate foam in phase 2 and 3 trials, possibly because of small percentages of skin of color participants in these studies.

Major finding: Treatment success rates at 4 weeks were 30% among black patients, 54% among white patients, and 69% among Asian patients, but not enough skin of color patients were enrolled for differences to reach statistical significance.

Study details: A retrospective analysis of pooled phase 2 and phase 3 studies with 1,104 participants with psoriasis.

Disclosures: LEO Pharma supplied the clinical data but did not fund the study. Dr. Kaufman had no relevant financial disclosures.

Source: Kaufman B et al. ODAC 2018.



– Psoriasis often presents differently in skin of color patients, but an unanswered question remains: Does response to treatment with an agent like a fixed-dose combination foam also differ by ethnicity?

Researchers at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital in New York addressed this question using phase 2 and 3 study data for 1,104 people with psoriasis, about half of whom were randomized to topical treatment with calcipotriene and betamethasone dipropionate foam 0.005%/0.064% (Enstilar); the rest received a single component or vehicle only. The data were obtained from LEO Pharma, the product’s manufacturer.

“We were very interested in knowing if there was any difference in efficacy between the specific ethnic groups – the skin of color and non–skin of color patients,” said Bridget Kaufman, MD, a dermatopharmacology fellow at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital. “So we went back to look at the data to see if there was any difference in side effects or efficacy between ethnic groups.”

Strength in numbers?

The three randomized, pooled clinical studies included many ethnic groups. However, only 6.5% of participants were black and even fewer were Asian, American Indian, or native Hawaiian, Dr. Kaufman said. “It’s hard to see meaningful differences when you don’t have a substantial skin of color population.”

As a result, no significant associations emerged from the pooled data. “That is the main take-home message of this study: We don’t have a great understanding now of the difference in efficacy between white and nonwhite ethnic groups,” Dr. Kaufman said.

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