An expert dermatologist evaluates the role of dupilumab in decreasing the clinical burden of severe atopic dermatitis on patients and their caregivers and shares insight on the future outlook of dupilumab in disease management.
Benjamin Lockshin, MD, FAAD: Based on the data, I can say that dupilumab [Dupixent] will really change the way that we look at and manage infants and toddlers with atopic dermatitis. Having this as a viable treatment option with a large delta between its ability to clear the skin paired with a very good safety profile, makes this an attractive option for parents with children that have insufferable disease.
Unlike adults who have atopic dermatitis, where this disease predominantly just affects them as an individual, for infants and toddlers, the effect not only affects the child but also affects the siblings and parents as well, drawing a lot of the bandwidth from the family to take care of the individual need of that child. This can affect the psychosocial dynamic between the parents and the other children.
This study just sets up a framework for what’s to come with future studies in this patient population affected with severe atopic dermatitis. Children ages from 6 months to 6 years of age should show a sustained benefit from this medication, and this can be exhibited in long-term safety and efficacy studies. In addition, I do have a wish list of things that I’d like to have addressed, including perhaps dupilumab’s effect in terms of changing growth curves or developmental milestones that may be seen at different rates in patients treated with dupilumab vs other treatments, especially topical steroids and systemic steroids as alternatives. These may help us not only see the patient as just having a skin disease of atopic dermatitis but managing them more holistically in addressing all the effects that atopic dermatitis and that inflammation has on their bodies.
The take-home message for a study like this is really to introduce dupilumab as a viable treatment option for children 6 months to 6 years of age with severe atopic dermatitis. What’s special about this product is the fact that it is cherry-picking certain key cytokines that are driving the phenotype that we call atopic dermatitis. Having something that not only is specific to this disease state but is also an approved agent for managing patients down to 6 months of age is really revolutionary and meaningful for me in terms of the management of this patient type.
Transcript Edited for Clarity