News in brief: Melanoma’s huge cost burden highlighted; More evidence for upadacitinib in atopic dermatitis; Choose your weapon for preoperative hair removal 

Thursday, 10 Mar 2022


Melanoma’s huge cost burden highlighted in report

The total cost to Australia for newly diagnosed patients with melanoma for 2021 was $397.9 m – with half of the cost attributed to melanoma in situ ($198.9 m).

The mean cost per patient ranged from $644 for melanoma in situ to $100,725 for unresectable stage III/IV disease.

“Since the treatments and costs are distinctly different by stage, with the cost of advanced stage disease 100-fold higher than for early-stage disease, accurate stage distributions are important for cost estimation,” the study said.

“Accurately distinguishing between skin cancers and benign lesions during skin examination, and potentially avoiding treatment of benign lesions, is also an important factor in the overall economic burden.”

“Despite some reports that melanoma incidence in younger adults is declining, healthcare costs of skin cancer are expected to rise further due to the joint effects of health price inflation, new technologies and medicines, and ageing demographics.”

Read more in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health


More evidence for upadacitinib in atopic dermatitis

Longer-term treatment of adolescents and adults with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis with upadacitinib demonstrates a favorable benefit-risk profile, with sustained efficacy responses through 52 weeks.

Follow-up data from the Measure Up 1 and 2 studies found a 75% improvement in the Eczema Area and Severity Index (EASI) was achieved by 82.0% and 79.1% of patients continuing the 15 mg dose and 84.9% and 84.3% of patients continuing the 30 mg dose.

“For the more stringent end points of EASI-90, EASI-100, vIGA-AD 0, and WP-NRS 0/1, responses were maintained or improved at week 52 vs week 16,” the study said.

Similarly, there were meaningful and sustained improvements in patient-reported outcome assessments, including Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and the sleep, emotional state, and daily activities domains of the Atopic Dermatitis Impact Scale (ADerm-IS).

No new safety risks were observed beyond those noted in the 16-week treatment period. Common treatment-emergent AEs were acne, cough, headache, herpes zoster, oral herpes, urinary tract infection, upper respiratory tract infection, nasopharyngitis, atopic dermatitis, and elevation in blood creatine phosphokinase levels.

Read more in JAMA Dermatology


Choose your weapon for preoperative hair removal

Razors are probably equally suitable to clippers for preoperative hair removal ahead of dermatologic surgery.

A US study suggests concerns about postoperative surgical site infections (SSIs) from bacterial colonisation of razor-induced microabrasions appear unfounded.

The study of more than 1,000 patients found razor hair removal was associated with a low risk of postoperative SSIs across hair-bearing sites such as the forearm, head and neck.

The rate was not significantly different from the postoperative SSI rate in patients who underwent dermatologic surgery at non-hair-bearing sites (0.25% vs 0.09%, P = .16).

Read more in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology

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