Enbrel Works for Kids With Psoriasis
Study Shows Improvements in Skin Lesions for Children and Teens
WebMD News Archive
Enbrel and Psoriasis continued...
The study included 211 children and teens from 42 sites in the U.S. and
Canada treated during the first 12 weeks with either once-weekly injections of
placebo or up to 50 milligrams of Enbrel, depending on body
After the initial 12 weeks of treatment, all the patients were treated with
Enbrel for the following 24 weeks; then patients were again randomly assigned
to treatment with either Enbrel or placebo for an additional 12 weeks to
examine the effect of withdrawal.
The researchers reported that 68% of patients initially treated with Enbrel
and 65% of those initially treated with placebo showed 75% improvement in
lesions and other symptoms at week 36 of the trial.
Withdrawal from the drug was associated with a significant return of
psoriasis lesions in 42% of patients.
"Our responses were as good as those seen in studies in adults with
about half the dosage," Paller says. "We really don't know why that
Dermatologist and psoriasis expert Mark G. Lebwohl, MD, says he is not
surprised by the findings.
"[Enbrel] has become the leading systemic treatment for adults with
psoriasis in the U.S., so you would expect it to work just as well in
children," he says.
He adds that the safety of the drug in children has been shown in juvenile
rheumatoid arthritis studies.
The chairman of the dermatology department at New York City's Mount Sinai
Medical Center, Lebwohl tells WebMD that while many patients show dramatic
improvement while taking biologic drugs like Enbrel, Remicade,
Humira, and Raptiva, a significant percentage does not.
He says more drugs are needed and cites certain investigational drugs as
being particularly promising for the treatment of psoriasis.
"The effects [in clinical trials] have been quite dramatic, and they
seem to work for almost everybody," he says.