New Experimental Drug for Psoriasis - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/19/02

New Experimental Drug for Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a problem where skin cells multiply faster than they shed leading to deep pink, raised patches on the skin. You see it most often on the hands, knees, elbow, and the scalp. It can itch or be sore, but the biggest problem it brings is the emotional scars that come with it, because patients are so embarrassed. There is no cure just treatments like pills, creams, and light therapy. But now, an experimental drug may offer some relief.

Doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago are using a drug called Amevives, part of what they call biologic therapies. It means patients get a shot once a week for 12 weeks, rest for 12 weeks then start the therapy again. I talked to the researchers in Chicago and they said it's still not a cure but patients are very pleased that their condition is less noticeable after the therapy.

"These are therapies that are designed specifically designed to attack very specific parts of the inflammatory system that drives psoriasis. Patients tolerate these drugs extremely well, have very few side effects," said Kenneth Gordon, M.D. a Dermatologist.

"I know that so many people have this including my nephew, so if being part of this study means aiding people who follow me I would feel very good about that," said William Bright, a Psoriasis patient.

Dr. Gordon says the experiments are ongoing at medical centers nationwide. A spokesperson at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center told NewsChannel 11 they are not using Amevives, but plan to begin a similar study soon on injection therapy for Psoriasis.

We'll have more on that, HealthWise, when they begin those trials. In the meantime, if you'd like more information on Psoriasis research, (click here) or you can call 1-800-723-9166.

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