JAK-Inhibitors and Skin Disease: Is Another Treatment Option On the Horizon?
The Janus Kinase/Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (JAK-STAT) is a pathway that mediates the biological activities of certain cytokines and is essential for the development and regulation of immune responses. Therefore, change in function mutations (gain or loss) are a contributor to syndromes and diseases that include multiple inflammatory dermatoses.
JAK inhibitors such as tofacitinib, ruxolitinib, baricitinib, and oclacitinib, are being studied for various skin diseases with some promise. A recent study reviewed the current evidence for use of JAK inhibitors and atopic dermatitis, alopecia areata, psoriasis, and vitiligo and presented additional information that suggests that JAK inhibition might be more broadly useful in dermatology. Most of the studies reviewed used oral JAK inhibitors, and topical formulations (though not available yet commercially). All studies showed effectiveness for treating atopic dermatitis, alopecia areata, psoriasis, and vitiligo.
In addition, there are studies underway to look at the JAK inhibition and dermatomyositis, chronic actinic dermatitis, erythema multiforme, hypereosinophilic syndrome, cutaneous graft-versus-host disease, and cutaneous lupus. The authors note that an indicator of the interest in JAK inhibitors is that at least 25 separate clinical trials are underway to evaluate their use for a variety of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
Byline: Martha L. Sikes, MS, RPh, PA-C
Posted: June 6, 2017
Adapted from the original article.