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Papers of the Week

Papers: 16 Sep 2023 - 22 Sep 2023


Human Studies, Neurobiology, Pharmacology/Drug Development

Inflammation/Inflammatory, Itch, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Sep 17

Am J Clin Dermatol


Chronic Prurigo Including Prurigo Nodularis: New Insights and Treatments.


Müller S, Zeidler C, Ständer S


Chronic prurigo (CPG) is a neuroinflammatory, fibrotic dermatosis that is defined by the presence of chronic pruritus (itch lasting longer than 6 weeks), scratch-associated pruriginous skin lesions and history of repeated scratching. Patients with CPG experience a significant psychological burden and a notable impairment in their quality of life. Chronic prurigo of nodular type (CNPG; synonym: prurigo nodularis) represents the most common subtype of CPG. As CNPG is representative for all CPG subtypes, we refer in this review to both CNPG and CPG. We provide an overview of the clinical characteristics and assessment of CPG, the burden of disease and the underlying pathophysiology including associated therapeutic targets. The information provided results from a PubMed search for the latest publications and a database search for current clinical trials (ClinicalTrials.gov, EU Clinical Trials Register [European Medicines Agency]; using the following terms or combinations of terms: ‘chronic prurigo’, ‘prurigo’, ‘prurigo nodularis’, ‘pathophysiology’, ‘therapy’, ‘biologics’, ‘treatment’). Dupilumab is the first authorized systemic therapy by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for CNPG to date. Topical and systemic agents that are currently under investigation in clinical randomized, placebo-controlled phase II and III trials such as biologics (e.g., nemolizumab, vixarelimab/KPL-716, barzolvolimab/CDX-0159), small molecules (ruxolitinib cream, povorcitinib/INCB054707, abrocitinib) and the opioid modulator nalbuphine are highlighted. In the last past 15 years, several milestones have been reached regarding the disease understanding of CPG such as first transcriptomic analysis, first terminology, first guideline, and first therapy approval in 2022, which contributed to improved medical care of affected patients. The broad range of identified targets, current case observations and initiated trials offers the possibility of more drug approvals in the near future.