Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors for the treatment of skin and hair disorders: a review of literature

    January 2017 in “Journal of Dermatological Treatment
    Aniseh Samadi, Saman Ahmad Nasrollahi, Atieh Hashemi, Mansour Nassiri-Kashani, Alireza Firooz
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    TLDR JAK inhibitors show promise for treating skin and hair disorders but need more research on long-term safety and effectiveness.
    The 2017 review examined the effectiveness of Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors, particularly tofacitinib and ruxolitinib, in treating skin and hair disorders by targeting the JAK/STAT signaling pathway. Clinical studies showed promising results for these inhibitors in conditions like psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, alopecia areata, and vitiligo. For psoriasis, a phase 2b study with 435 patients and a phase II study with 28 patients showed improvements with tofacitinib and ruxolitinib, respectively. In atopic dermatitis, a study with 69 patients indicated symptom improvement with tofacitinib. Alopecia areata saw hair regrowth in trials, including a single-arm trial with 66 patients and a retrospective study with 90 patients using tofacitinib, and an open-label trial with 12 patients using oral ruxolitinib. Despite these findings, the review highlighted the need for more research to confirm the long-term efficacy and safety of JAK inhibitors, as none were FDA-approved for dermatological uses at the time, and there were concerns about long-term side effects and cost. The review concluded that further trials with selective JAK inhibitors are necessary to fully understand their potential in treating inflammatory skin diseases.
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