Treatment of vitiligo with the topical Janus kinase inhibitor ruxolitinib

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BackgroundExisting therapies for vitiligo are limited in efficacy and can be associated with undesirable side effects. Topical Janus kinase inhibitors may offer a new therapeutic option for vitiligo.ObjectiveWe sought to assess the role of topical ruxolitinib 1.5% cream, a Janus kinase inhibitor, in vitiligo treatment.MethodsThis 20-week, open-label, proof-of-concept trial of twice-daily topical ruxolitinib 1.5% cream was conducted in 12 patients with a minimum of 1% affected body surface area of vitiligo. The primary outcome was percent improvement in Vitiligo Area Scoring Index from baseline to week 20.ResultsOf 12 patients screened, 11 were enrolled and 9 completed the study (54.5% men; mean age, 52 years). Four patients with significant facial involvement at baseline had a 76% improvement in facial Vitiligo Area Scoring Index scores at week 20 (95% confidence interval, 53-99%; P = .001). A 23% improvement in overall Vitiligo Area Scoring Index scores was observed in all enrolled patients at week 20 (95% confidence interval, 4-43%; P = .02). Three of 8 patients responded on body surfaces and 1 of 8 patients responded on acral surfaces. Adverse events were minor, including erythema, hyperpigmentation, and transient acne.LimitationsLimitations of the study include the small sample size and open-label study design.ConclusionsTopical ruxolitinib 1.5% cream provided significant repigmentation in facial vitiligo and may offer a valuable new treatment for vitiligo.

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