For the first time, dermatologists have an international physician-based organization dedicated to sharing new knowledge about psoriasis through dermatology experts with an interest in psoriasis.
Formed in 2004, the International Psoriasis Council (IPC) is similar to organizations formed by rheumatologists to study rheumatoid arthritis and by gastroenterologists to study Crohn's disease, according to IPC president Alan Menter, M.D.
One of Dr. Menter's patients, Scott Ginsburg, J.D., was instrumental in getting IPC started.
According to Ms. Tee, IPC's goal is to get the physician's voice to all stakeholders in the psoriasis community.
"Physicians have the most valuable voice in psoriasis, and we want to provide an opportunity to get that voice into a global open forum," Ms. Tee says. "We are trying to link people across countries, not just to share research, but also to share practical knowledge on issues that impact day-to-day practice."
The IPC's programs are ongoing.
"March was the dermatology clinical trials program for practicing dermatologists with an interest in dermatology research (not just psoriasis)," Dr. Menter says. "A great number of our colleagues - academic and non-academic - have never had formal training in clinical research."
The second program focuses on psoriasis phenotyping.
"We try to put the label of psoriasis on a disease which, like lupus, has 10 to 20 different phenotypic manifestations," Dr. Menter says. "One of the goals of the phenotyping meeting will be to develop a set of guidelines for a scientific study to define the specific subtypes (phenotypes) of chronic plaque psoriasis that dermatologists work with daily. The goal of the study will be to show, for example, why palmar plantar psoriasis is different from other subtypes of psoriasis. IPC has committed to seeking funding to support future research in this important area."
In April, the IPC convened an invitation-only Hot Topics Roundtable in London. The third IPC program is a published review of the latest innovations in psoriasis.
"A compendium of top publications reviewed by our councilors and made available to the dermatology community would be valuable so our colleagues would not have to sift through the tremendous amount of material coming out on psoriasis," Dr. Menter says.