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Immunodermatology Masterclass 2023

The skin as an immunologic organ has put at the forefront of the fastest and latest developments in the field of dermatology, with new insights of the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment revolutionizing our field. As we navigate the world of immune-mediated skin conditions, we had the opportunity to learn from our very own Immunodermatology experts about the latest breakthroughs in research and updates on the management of common yet difficult to manage diseases during a special academic night.

Last September 6, 2023 the PDS Immunodermatology Subspecialty Core Group under the leadership of Dr. Clarisse Mendoza spearheaded the first ever Immunodermatology Masterclass in partnership with MIMS Philippines and through the educational grant from Pfizer. The event, held at Seda Bonifacio Global City, had a total of 100 attendees and 318 virtual attendees. 

Current PDS President Dr. Cynthia Ciriaco-Tan opened the event and Dr. Marie Eleanore Nicolas served as the moderator for the sessions. The Masterclass was divided into two parts. The first segment was a series of lectures kicked off by Dr. Bryan Guevara’s “ADvancing therapeutic strategies for atopic dermatitis” where he highlighted the current advancements in the treatment of recalcitrant or severe atopic dermatitis, showed locally managed cases using the newer JAK inhibitors, and emphasized the importance of patient quality scores in evaluating treatment outcomes. This was followed by a talk by Dr. Mae Ramirez-Quizon entitled “Basics and breakthrough in alopecia areata.” Classic treatments as well as novel ones were discussed, including the JAK inhibitors which have highly improved treatment outcomes. Dr. Josef Symon Concha gave the lecture on “Targeted immunotherapy in improving treatment responses in vitiligo” where he highlighted the role of IL-15 in T memory cells responsible for relapses in vitiligo and the interferon-γ immunologic signature for vitiligo that is effectively inhibited by JAK inhibitors. Rounding off the first segment was Dr. Katrina Canlas-Estrella with “Approach to patients with chronic urticaria: Novel strategies for the stubborn welt and frustrating itch”, where she explained the tools used to evaluate chronic urticaria, advised on maximizing antihistamine use and updated the attendees on the guideline in the usage of omalizumab in patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria. 

In between lectures the attendees enjoyed the quiz game Mentometer with the overall top three top takers both from the virtual and in-house attendees were given gift prizes for answering the fastest and garnering the highest points for correct answers. This was followed by an open forum after the first session where our experts answered interesting questions from the course participants.

The second part of the Masterclass was an interactive breakout room session where various cases were presented and participants could actively join and ask questions about the diagnosis and management of these immune-mediated skin disorders. Immunodermatology Subspecialty group members Dr. Cybill Dianne Uy (vitiligo), Dr. Jamaine Cruz (chronic spontaneous urticaria), Dr. Melanie Joy Doria-Ruiz (atopic dermatitis) and Dr. Johana Pauline Lazo-Dizon (alopecia areata) facilitated thought-provoking focus group discussions on vital, challenging topics commonly encountered by PDS Dermatologists in their practice.

It was indeed a successful academic exercise, for everyone. As we strive to provide better service and management to our patients, we continually update ourselves with the latest advancements that research offers. As the field of Immunodermatology continues to evolve, we look forward to conducting more Masterclasses in the future.

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