AAD 2022 to Address Diversity, Health Equity, and Emerging Therapeutics

Emerging research on therapeutics and practical approaches to managing a myriad of dermatological conditions, as well as a growing focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion will be explored at the 2022 American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Annual Meeting, which will take place March 25-29, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Emerging research on therapeutics and practical approaches to managing a myriad of dermatological conditions, as well as a growing focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) will be explored at the 2022 American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) Annual Meeting, which will take place March 25-29, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Returning to an in-person format for the first time since last year’s virtual meeting and the cancellation of AAD 2020 due to COVID-19, this year’s anual meeting will cover a wide array of topics across medical, pediatric, and cosmetic dermatology. This includes the latest reseach on breakthrough therapies and management considerations for psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, atopic dermatitis (AD), acne and rosacea, and vitiligo, among others.

Building on last year’s discussions regarding cancer and dermatology, more than 15 sessions will address diagnostic, therapeutic, and multidisciplinary management of early-stage and advanced skin cancer, including melanoma and non-melanoma disease.

A session on Saturday moderated by Emily Chu, MD, PhD, FAAD, associate professor of Dermatology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, will address the use of genetic and molecular testing for melanoma among dermatologists and how these assays can promote the use of targeted therapies.

With germline genetic testing modalities being developed and/or utilized for the management of patients with melanoma, the session will discuss the utility of clinical testing for cancer susceptibility genes and molecular assays that are intended to aid in melanoma diagnosis, prognosis, and response to therapy, These include comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), gene expression signatures, and next-generation sequencing panels.

Novel therapies in dermatology, including biologics and Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors, will be a main focus of discussions throughout the meeting.

As more than 10 biologic agents are currently approved for treating psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, a panel discussion on Saturday moderated by George Han, MD, PhD, FAAD, chairman of the Department of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, will advise dermatologists on how to determine what the optimal treatment is for each given patient based on variables such as comorbidities, treatment history, and patient preferences.

Other sessions will speak on the implications of underlying conditions for biologic and immunosuppressive agent initiation, use of these therapies for tumors and inflammatory skin diseases, and safety concerns related to biologic and JAK-​​signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK-STAT) inhibitors.

Specific to AD, a session on Friday led by Jonathan Silverberg, MD, PhD, MPH, associate professor of dermatology, director of clinical research and patch testing, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, will review the diagnosis of and unique aspects of the disease in adults.

Typically considered a pediatric disease, Silverberg will address the various presentations and differential diagnosis of AD in adults, key differences in the response to topical and systemic treatment between adults and children, and treatment considerations for adult patient populations.

Lastly, DEI in dermatology will be a highly relevant topic at this year’s meeting. Recent findings of a JAMA Dermatology study showed that although the reporting of racial and ethnic data has increased for dermatology clinical trials within the past decade, inclusion of minority groups has remained unchanged.

Results of the study further indicated that psoriasis studies included the least diversity, with 12.1% of studies recording at least 20% non-White participants and 29.5% of studies recording at least 45% female participants.

In addressing these unmet needs within diverse dermatologic patients, a session on Sunday moderated by Pearl E. Grimes, MD, FAAD, director of the Vitiligo & Pigmentation Institute of Southern California, clinical professor of Dermatology at UCLA, and Amy J. McMichael, MD, FAAD, professor and chair in the Department of Dermatology at Wake Forest University Health Sciences, will provide dermatologists with better understanding on the barriers to optimal treatment and adherence across skin types, ethnicities, and cultures.

The moderators and panelists will discuss evidence-based treatment plans that maximize safety and outcomes, as well as therapeutic, aesthetic, and investigational approaches for diverse patients with AD, psoriasis, and other dermatologic conditions.

Linda Stein Gold, MD, director of dermatology clinical research at Henry Ford Health System, incoming vice president, AAD, will also speak on the challenges of conducting dermatology clinical trials, specifically as it pertains to patient recruiting.

The American Journal of Managed Care® will have coverage of AAD 2022 starting Friday. For full conference coverage, visit our AAD conference page.

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