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American Academy of Dermatology's Annual Meeting, Feb. 2-6, 2007

American Academy of Dermatology's Annual Meeting

The 65th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology took place Feb. 2-6, 2007, in Washington, D.C., drawing some 12,000 visitors from the United States and abroad.

Scott Fosko, M.D., professor and chairman of dermatology at the St. Louis University School of Medicine, said, "There were some great talks discussing advances in the management of malignancies, some advances in chemotherapeutics."

Fosko, who presented his own work on the tendency of men to develop skin cancer on the left side of the body, possibly due to sun exposure while driving, particularly lauded Errol Friedberg's "very nice" plenary session, "DNA Repair and DNA Damage Tolerance: Fundamental Mechanisms That Protect Against Cancer."

Whitney High, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology and dermatopathology at the University of Colorado, noted the importance of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-sponsored meeting held the day before the start of the AAD annual meeting. The meeting addressed the role of gadolinium-based contrast agents in the development of nephrogenic systemic fibrosis in patients with pre-existing renal problems.

"This is a huge problem," said High. "Experts in radiology have estimated that gadolinium-based contrast is used in 20 to 40 percent of all MRIs. There's no evidence it affects anyone except those with renal problems, but sometimes those are exactly the patients you are interested in testing."

High presented data on this topic, published in January, showing that tissue specimens from four of seven individuals with nephrogenic systemic fibrosis who had undergone a gadolinium scan contained detectable metal. A follow-up paper, which demonstrates for the first time that the gadolinium in these tissue samples can be quantified using mass spectrometry, was published online Feb. 7 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Duane Whitaker, M.D., professor of dermatology at the University of Arizona, the meeting's scientific program director, said there were several other important topics that were addressed.

He noted new research on the efficacy of biologic therapies for both psoriasis and arthritic psoriasis. Biologic therapies, Whitaker said, "are the first medications that [not only heal the damaged skin, but] also prevent joint damage. Previous meds were not as smart -- they would temporarily repair the skin, but not prevent long-term damage to the joints."

Whitaker also noted that skin cancer is a problem for people of all ages. "It's important for parents to teach their children to use sun protection and to monitor themselves, and as physicians, that we be very particular in our examination of patients, and to be ready to biopsy at any age if there's a suspicion of skin cancer."

Finally, Whitaker pointed out the need for dermatologists to recognize how skin diseases manifest in patients with a variety of skin shades. "Depending on the underlying skin color," he said, "the classic presentation of a disease may look quite a bit different from that in skin of color. So it's really important to emphasize and teach that to our youngest members, our oldest members, and our members in between."

AAD: Partner Involvement Fosters Skin Self-Examinations

MONDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with a high risk of melanoma may be more likely to regularly perform skin self-examinations when they're assisted by a spouse or partner, according to research presented this week at the 65th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in Washington, D.C., and published online ahead-of-print in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Abstract
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AAD: Gadolinium Linked to Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis

MONDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with end-stage renal disease, the use of gadolinium-containing contrast agents may be associated with the development of a rare and potentially fatal condition, nephrogenic systemic fibrosis. The findings were presented this week at the 65th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in Washington, D.C. and published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Abstract
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AAD: Women At Risk for Genital Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

MONDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with non-melanoma skin cancer, women are three times as likely as men to die of cancers that develop in genital areas and men are twice as likely as women to die of cancers that develop in other areas of the body, according to research presented this week at the 65th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in Washington, D.C.

Abstract (#P1316; P.111)

AAD: Driving Linked to Risk of Left-Sided Skin Cancer

FRIDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Spending a lot of time behind the wheel may increase the risk of developing left-sided skin cancers, according to research presented this week at the 65th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in Washington, D.C.

Abstract (#P2326; P.158)

AAD: Women More Likely to Seek Hyperhidrosis Therapy

FRIDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Although hyperhidrosis affects the sexes equally, women are twice as likely as men to seek medical treatment, according to research presented this week at the 65th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology in Washington, D.C.

Abstract (#P522; P.56)

Physician's Briefing
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