What types of therapies and treatments have you done clinical research with?
I have been involved in numerous topical, oral and injectable therapies, and over 65 clinical research trials. I studied everything from antifungal nail polishes, to topical creams for skin cancer to oral pills for psoriasis, to injectable biologics for atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. All this has been done by working with great scientists, researchers, physicians, nurses, and pharmacists.
What is the benefit for patients to participate in clinical trials?
Patients have the benefit of receiving the most current, up-to-date, scientifically validated therapies that are not even available on the market. Through scientific advancements, the medications we use now are more effective and safer than those in the past. If we look at psoriasis, we had four biological medications on the market in 2011. Now, we have over 10 biological therapies and new oral therapies available for patient use. The newer therapies that have been developed are more effective, require less injections and have less adverse events than the older therapies. The other significant advantage is the possibility of providing these medications free of cost to patients. Newer therapies generally cost thousands of dollars, but patients who participate in clinical trials get the therapies for free. In some cases, they have even continued to receive free medication for years afterwards from the sponsoring company.
What is the most rewarding experience you have had from clinical trials?
We are currently conducting research on new oral Jak kinase inhibitors in atopic dermatitis. One of my patients started a clinical trial with 85% body surface area involvement, itching constantly through the day and night, not sleeping, feeling depressed and shutting themselves off from the outside world. After being on the therapy for about two weeks, they were 100% clear and were thrilled beyond belief. They could finally live a normal and productive life. It is extremely rewarding for both the patient and the physician.