Narrowband UV-B phototherapy, alefacept, and clearance of psoriasis.
Author(s): Legat FJ, Hofer A, Wackernagel A, Salmhofer W, Quehenberger F, Kerl H, Wolf P
Affiliation(s): Research Unit for Photodermatology, Department of Dermatology, Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 8, A-8036 Graz, Austria.
Publication date & source: 2007-08, Arch Dermatol., 143(8):1016-22.
Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the addition of 311-nm narrowband UV-B (NB UV-B) phototherapy accelerates and improves the therapeutic efficacy of alefacept, a biological antipsoriatic drug approved for the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis. DESIGN: Randomized half-body comparison study. SETTING: Ambulatory section of a university hospital photodermatology unit. PATIENTS: Fourteen patients with moderate to severe psoriasis. INTERVENTIONS: All patients were treated with 7.5 mg of intravenous alefacept once weekly for 12 weeks. Three times each week, a randomly selected body half (left or right) was treated with NB UV-B light until complete remission, defined as a reduction in the Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) to 3 or lower, was achieved on the irradiated body half. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Modified PASI, self-assessed visual analogue scale rating of skin lesions, and self-assessed therapeutic efficacy. RESULTS: After 12 weeks of treatment, the mean PASIs on UV-irradiated and nonirradiated body halves were significantly reduced by 81% and 62%, respectively (P < .001). From week 3 to week 12, the mean PASI was significantly lower on UV-irradiated body halves than on nonirradiated body halves (P < .001). At week 12, PASI reductions of greater than 75% had been achieved significantly more often on UV-irradiated body halves (86%, 12 of 14) than on nonirradiated body halves (43%, 6 of 14), and complete remission had been achieved significantly more often on UV-irradiated body halves (43%, 6 of 14) than on nonirradiated body halves (0 of 14) (McNemar test P = .03). CONCLUSIONS: In this randomized half-side comparison of alefacept with and without phototherapy for psoriasis, alefacept with NB UV-B phototherapy accelerated and improved the clearance of psoriasis. This suggests a promising future for this combination as antipsoriatic therapy.