USC Clinical Trials is about to begin a study of an experimental new treatment for mild to moderate chronic plaque psoriasis, a common skin condition.
The phase 1 study, to be led by USC Associate Professor Sue Thackwray will assess how the body responds to a topical gel applied directly to an area of plaque psoriasis and whether the condition improves over four weeks of treatment.
Dr Thackwray said plaque psoriasis was a long-lasting, autoimmune condition in which skin cells are produced too quickly, causing a build-up of rough, red, scaly skin. It is the most common form of psoriasis and affects people of all ages and skin colours.
“The most commonly affected parts of the body are the knees, elbows, and scalp,” she said.
“Patches can also occur randomly over the body, and patches may heal and reappear in different locations. Plaque psoriasis is itchy and uncomfortable, and if not treated can lead to skin infection.
“Typical treatments for plaque psoriasis include topical creams, gels and ointments such as corticosteroids and salicylic acid ointments. If these are ineffective, systemic treatments such as oral disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or intravenous biologics are used.”
The study requires people aged 18 to 75 years old with mild to moderate plaque psoriasis affecting less than 10 percent of their body (or a total area of less than 10 handprints).
They must be willing to avoid excessive exposure to sunlight during the treatment period and must be either not currently undergoing treatment for their condition or willing to potentially cease treatment for the duration of the study.
Participants will be required to visit the USC Clinical Trials centre at Sippy Downs approximately seven times over six weeks. For more details go to usc.edu.au/trials