Psoriasis

Background and research focus

Background

Jo Lambert is full professor and academic dermatologist at the Dpt of Dermatology, of the Ghent University Hospital. Since 2006, she leads a psoriasis research line in the UGent Dermatology Research Unit (DRU), involving basic and translational research. The main aim is to understand psoriasis and its management from different angles: the work is categorized into 3 fields, PSO-Plus, Precision-PSO and Model-PSO.

It reflects translational and multidisciplinary research, from bedside to bench and vice versa, and has resulted in in more than 30 A1 publications (of over 180 in total) and 5 PhDs in the psoriasis-specific field since 2012.

Research focus

  • PSO-Plus: a specialized and multidisciplinary consultation format for psoriasis, based on a evidence-based medicine checklist to enable informed treatment decisions. The consultation PsoPlus receives 1200 psoriasis patients per year and acts as the reference center for psoriasis. PsoPlus allows concentrated patient recruitment as well as the extended database for research. Within this research line, we have defined a first treat-to-target concept for psoriasis, and we implement value-based healthcare (see Value-based healthcare in Chronic Dermatoses).
  • Precision-PSO: introduction of personalized and precision medicine in psoriasis management. Treatment optimization is studied by means of therapeutic drug monitoring, where the ideal dosage for each individual is determined. Moreover, to enable personalized healthcare, this research line includes biomarker studies to predict treatment response to specific drugs.
  • Model-PSO: This research line focuses on the development of in vitro and ex vivo models to mimic psoriasis-like inflammation in order to better understand its pathophysiology. Furthermore, this research line also includes the development and characterization of drug delivery systems for cutaneous conditions.

Members

Professors and Guest Professors

Jo Lambert, Reinhart Speeckaert

Postdoctoral researchers

Lynda Grine (contact person)

PhD candidates

Tom Hillary (external), Lisa Schots, Rani Soenen

Technical staff

Martine De Mil (Ghent University Hospital), Els Van Maelsaeke

National and international collaborations

  • BIOLOPTIM: implementing therapeutic drug monitoring of biologics for psoriasis and hidradenitis suppurativa
    • Collaborator: Lab of Therapeutic and Diagnostic Antibodies, University of Leuven
    • FWO-TBM: T001217N (Amount: 980600 EUR)
    • Aim: to develop algorithms for therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) for biologicals used in the treatment of psoriasis (and hidradenitis suppurativa). This includes measuring the drug’s concentration in serum or blood and how it benefits the patient (skin clearance). Novel ELISA-based assays will be developed. TDM can lead to more cost-effective use of biologics, and reduced costs for our healthcare system.
  • BeNeBio: dose reduction of the new generation biologics (interleukin 17 and interleukin 23 inhibitors) in psoriasis: A pragmatic, multicentre, randomized, controlled, non-inferiority study
    • Collaborator: Radboud UMC, Nijmegen (the Netherlands) (Amount: 1609340 EUR)
    • BeNeFit: collaboration between KCE (BE) and ZonMW (NL)
    • Aim: Stable patients treated with biologics against IL-17 or IL-23 will be randomized into a dose-tapering arm (intervention) and a standard dose arm (control). Dose reduction (max. 50%) by interval prolongation in 2 steps when disease activity and quality of life remain low. Outcome is defined as cumulative incidence of persistent flares. This study allows to optimize and individualize the use of expensive drugs.
  • Chair ‘Value in Psoriasis’ – Janssen-Cilag (1/1/2019-31/12/2021)
    • Collaboration with Vlerick Management School
    • Design and implementation of principles of Value Based Healthcare to PsoPlus (Amount: 180000 EUR)

Lead Jo Lambert is:

  • Member (as only dermatologist) of spECTRUM

SpECTRUM is an intErnational Consortium TheRapeUtic Monitoring which is uniting international key opinion leaders in gastro-enterology, dermatology and rheumatology and founded in 2018. We develop interdisciplinary guidelines, and other types of consensus documents covering the joint management of immune-mediated disorders in our field.

  • Member of the European Dermatology Forum since 2015 (“Membership is on an invitation basis. Around 200 active members, all of whom are opinion leaders in Dermatology, and EDF members representing 30 European countries constitute the EDF membership”)
  • Councilor of the International Psoriasis Council since October 2018 (“Councilors serve in an advisory capacity and lend their global expertise on psoriasis research, treatment, and education to support all IPC programs, events, and initiatives. They provide expert opinion on current psoriasis therapeutic and research-related issues, participate in round-table conferences, contribute manuscripts to top tier journals and present at important congresses around the world.”)
  • President of the Belgian Royal Society of Dermatology and Venereology (2017-2021)
  • President of the Skin Inflammation and Psoriasis International Network (SPIN) (2017-2020) (“an international network for professionals and patients on chronic inflammatory skin diseases”)
  • President of the EADV Psoriasis Task Force (2016-2020)

Defended PhDs (last 5 years)