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Dermatology research

About our research

St John’s Institute of Dermatology at Guy’s and St Thomas’ has a world-leading reputation for patient care and skin research. Our research covers many areas, including studies to understand the cause of skin conditions and clinical trials to test new skin treatments.

Our areas of interest include psoriasis, eczema, skin cancer, epidermolysis bullosa (EB), sun related skin conditions, hidradenitis suppurativa, urticaria and skin disease in children. Please see the relevant research section to read more about how you can take part.

Through working closely with research groups at King's College London, we are a leading centre for research in skin disease in the UK.

Current research

We are currently looking for volunteers to take part in the following studies. Click on the headings below to find out more and see if you might be eligible to take part and help us with our research.

If you are interested in being a part of any of our research studies or would like more information, please email dermatologytrials@gstt.nhs.uk or call 07717 697435 between 9am and 5pm.

  • Adult eczema

    All of our psoriasis and eczema research and trials are run through the Skin Therapy Research Unit, which is a leader in research on inflammatory skin conditions.

    ALPHA

    A trial comparing a tablet treatment (Alitretinoin) and UV light treatment (PUVA) in patients with severe hand eczema, which is not adequately controlled on a daily basis with prescription steroid creams.

    A-STAR

    A-STAR stands for The UK-Irish Atopic Eczema Systemic Therapy Register. This is an observational study running in the UK and Ireland, looking at the short and long-term safety and use of systemic immuno-modulators for people of all ages with atopic eczema.

    The study is looking at the 'real life' cost of treating eczema, examining how much these therapies cost, compared to how well they work. Once patients sign up to participate in A-STAR, the study will follow their medical care via their local dermatologists. The overall aim is to help clinicians decide treatment for patients with atopic eczema and through this to improve patient care.

    Visit the A-STAR website for more information

    Eczema Genetics

    A study set up to understand how eczema is inherited and why some people develop eczema and others do not. It may also identify possible factors that contribute to disease severity and treatment response.

    We may have more studies for this condition in the future, please email dermatologytrials@gstt.nhs.uk for further information.

  • Children's eczema

    A-STAR

    A-STAR stands for The UK-Irish Atopic Eczema Systemic Therapy Register. This is an observational study running in the UK and Ireland, looking at the short and long-term safety and use of systemic immuno-modulators for people of all ages with atopic eczema.

    The study is looking at the 'real life' cost of treating eczema, examining how much these therapies cost, compared to how well they work. Once patients sign up to participate in A-STAR, the study will follow their medical care via their local dermatologists. The overall aim is to help clinicians decide treatment for patients with atopic eczema and through this to improve patient care. 

    Visit the A-STAR website for more information

  • Adult psoriasis

    All of our psoriasis and eczema research and trials are run through the Skin Therapy Research Unit, which is a leader in research on inflammatory skin conditions.

    PLUM

    A study to find out what causes pustular forms of psoriasis. We are looking for patients with all forms of pustular psoriasis.  Find out more about the PLUM study on the Apricot website

    BADBIR

    This stands for British Association of Dermatology Biologic Interventions Register and is a national registry set up to collect long-term safety data from patients on oral and injection treatments for psoriasis. If you are interested in taking part please get in touch via the BADBIR website.

    BSTOP

    A study to understand signals that may help us predict patient responses to different psoriasis treatments and facilitate personalisation of therapy.

    Visit the BSTOP page on the King's College London website for more details.

    PSORT-D

    A study set up to understand why some patients respond well and some patients respond badly to psoriasis treatments. The aim of this is to facilitate personalisation of treatment in psoriasis and optimise effectiveness and safety. For more information, visit the PSORT website.

  • Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS)

    Theseus

    Theseus is an observational study, which aims to inform the design of future HS randomised controlled trials and to understand how HS treatments are currently used. Participation is open to adults over the age of 18 with active HS of any severity, where it is not adequately controlled by current treatment.

    BE HEARD

    The purpose of the BE HEARD study is to help us understand how effective a new investigational study drug called bimekizumab is for the treatment of people who have been diagnosed with moderate to severe HS. Bimekizumab is described as investigational because it has not been approved by the health authorities.

    Bimekizumab reduces the activity of certain proteins involved in HS which might help to alleviate the symptoms and signs of HS. Bimekizumab will be given by a subcutaneous (under the skin) injection in your lower abdomen (stomach), thigh, or upper arm.

    Participants are expected to be in the study for 53 weeks (up to 5 weeks screening plus 48 weeks of study treatment). Participants will be required to visit the study centre approximately 27 times.

    To take part in the BE HEARD study, you must:

    • be 18 years of age or older
    • have had signs and symptoms of HS for at least 6 months
    • have HS bumps (or lesions) on at least 2 different areas of your body
    • have previously taken antibiotics for the treatment of HS

    There are other criteria that you will need to meet before you can join the study. These are to help determine whether you are right for the study, and the study is right for you.

  • Chronic urticaria and mastocytosis

    No trials currently recruiting.

  • Hair and nail

    No trials currently recruiting.

Past research

Read about past studies. Please note we are no longer recruiting volunteers for these trials.

  • Adult eczema

    AWARE

    This study was set up to understand how common eczema is in European, Canadian and US populations. Specifically, identifying how common mild, moderate and severe disease is, and how that corresponds with patient quality of life.

    CAFÉ

    A trial which found that Dupilumab combined with topical corticosteroids significantly improved signs and symptoms of atopic dermatitis. The quality of life improved in adults with a history of inadequate response to/intolerance of Ciclosporin A. Read the CAFÉ trial results.

    ECZTRA 2

    We are evaluating the efficacy of tralokinumab compared with placebo in treating moderate to severe atopic dermatitis.

    ECZTRA 3

    Evaluating the effectiveness of tralokinumab (a new treatment for eczema) combined with topical corticosteroids compared with placebo in treating moderate to severe atopic dermatitis.

    MAARS

    We collected patient skin samples to investigate the role of skin microorganisms (e.g. bacteria) in the development of atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Read the MAARS study results.

    SOLE OLE, SOLO2 and SOLO CONTINUE

    These trials were designed to assess the effectiveness and safety of Dupilumab (a new treatment for eczema) in treating moderate to severe eczema. The results of these trials have since been published. Read the results of the SOLO trials.

    TREBLE

    This study was performed to assess the efficacy and safety of Lebrikizumab in treating eczema. When combined with topical corticosteroids there was a significant improvement and was well tolerated in patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis.Read the TREBLE study results.

    EUROSTAD

    A long term study assessing the benefit and safety of treatments for eczema.

  • Adult psoriasis

    PROSE, SIGNATURE

    Two different studies targeting different groups of patients with psoriasis. They were designed to assess the efficacy and safety of Secukinumab.

    CORE

    A research project looking at the influence of other medical conditions or co-morbidities on the outcomes of treatment in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis.

    ESPRIT

    Is a registry of patients taking HUMIRA® for Psoriasis and collects information about medical history and experiences with the drug.

    PSORT-D

    Psoriasis Stratification to Optimise Relevant Therapy (PSORT) is a unique partnership between five universities, 10 pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies, the Royal College of Physicians, the British Association of Dermatologists and the Psoriasis Association and NHS partners representing patients.

    The aim is to better understands determinants of response to biologic therapies for psoriasis, to optimise clinical pathways for psoriasis, inform the management of other immune mediated inflammatory diseases, and deliver healthcare savings by more efficient prescribing of biologics.

    Studies under the PSORT umbrella have included PSORT-D, with patients seen here at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and other trusts across the UK. While we are no longer recruiting participants for PSORT, you can find out more about the consortium and look out for results both on our webpages and at the PSORT website.

  • Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS)

    SUNRISE, Sunrise Extension

    These trials are designed to test 2 secukinumab dose regimens in approximately 471 patients with moderate to severe HS. The main aim is to look at the effect of secukinumab compared to placebo after 16 weeks of treatment. The purpose of the extension study is to evaluate whether prolonged treatment with secukinumab for up to another 4 years can help maintain improvement of HS, determine if continuous use is safe and compare effects of continuing treatment with an interruption of treatment (using placebo instead).

  • Urticaria

    PEARL 2

    The purpose of PEARL 2 is to establish the effectiveness and safety of Ligelizumab, a new drug from Novartis, in adult patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria who remain symptomatic, despite the use of H1-antihistamines. This trial is taking place in 48 countries including the US, Germany and Japan.

    CLOU, CLOU Extension

    The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect and safety of LOU064 in subjects suffering from CSU inadequately controlled by H1-antihistamines. The primary objective of this study is to characterize the dose-response relationship of LOU064 administered once or twice daily in subjects with CSU with respect to change from baseline in UAS7 at week 4. The extension study aims to assess the long-term safety and tolerability of LOU064 in patients with CSU who have participated in CLOU064A2201 study.

  • Hair and nail

    Allegro, Allegro Extension

    The main aim is to evaluate the safety and effect of PF-06651600 compared to placebo in adult and adolescent alopecia areata (AA) subjects with 50% or greater scalp hair loss on regrowth of lost hair (as measured by absolute Severity of Alopecia Tool (SALT) Score) at week 24. The primary objective of the extension study is to evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of PF-06651600 in adult and adolescent participants with AA in the treatment period over time.

Our research team

Professor Jonathan Barker – co-director

Professor Catherine Smith – co-director

Dr Andrew Pink – clinical trials lead

Dr Richard Woolf – clinical trial lead

Dr Ellie Rashid – HS trial lead

Dr Christos Tziotzios – hair trial lead

Dr Clive Grattan – urticarial trial lead

Dr Leonard Siew – urticarial trial lead

John Gregory – senior research nurse

Ewa Kislowska – research nurse

Neil Songsong – clinical research practitioner

Tess Cheetham – senior research study coordinator

Carla Iseghohi – research study coordinator

Learn more about our research nurses.

Contact us

To contact us, please email dermatologytrials@gstt.nhs.uk or call 07717 697435 between 9am and 5pm.

Patient and public involvement meetings

We have an active patient and public involvement (PPI) group which meets to discuss the latest developments in psoriasis and eczema. If you would like to join us, please email dermatologytrials@gstt.nhs.uk. Here is an example of our PPI meeting minutes (PDF 2.49Mb).

Our patient and public involvement group held a special event as part of psoriasis awareness week in 2018. Read a summary of the day (Word 18Kb).

On Wednesday 4 December 2020, we held our first webinar for world psoriasis day, in collaboration with the Psoriasis Association. Visit the Psoriasis Association website for more information.

For information about upcoming events, please email dermatologytrials@gstt.nhs.uk.

More information about clinical trials

Take part in a clinical trial

Find out how you can take part in a clinical trial at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and what is involved.