Combo Therapy for Vitiligo

Sep 20, 2014
Combo of Phototherapy, Drug Results in Faster Repigmentation in Vitiligo Patients

Bottom Line: Patients with the skin depigmentation disease known as vitiligo had faster and better repigmentation after a combination therapy of the implantable drug afamelanotide and narrowband UV-B (NB-UV-B) phototherapy as part of a clinical trial.

Author: Henry W. Lim, M.D., of Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Mich., and colleagues.

Background: Vitiligo is characterized by white patches of skin and affects 1 percent to 2 percent of the population. The authors report the results of a multicenter randomized clinical trial comparing the safety and effectiveness of the combination therapy with the phototherapy alone in 55 patients.

How the Study Was Conducted: The study was performed in two academic outpatient dermatology centers and one private dermatology office. The combination therapy group included 28 patients and the NB-UV-B monotherapy group had 27 patients assigned.

Results: Results were better in the combination therapy group than in the monotherapy group at day 56. For the face and upper extremities, more patients achieved repigmentation at a faster rate (face, 41 vs. 61 days; upper extremities, 46 vs. 69 days). In the combination therapy group, repigmentation was 48.64 percent at day 168 compared with 33.26 percent in the monotherapy group.

Discussion: “The results of this study offer hope to patients with vitiligo in the treatment of this disfiguring disease.”

(JAMA Dermatology. Published online September 17, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.1875.