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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 50, n° 4
pages 533-540 (avril 2004)
Doi : 10.1016/j.jaad.2003.09.018
accepted : 24 September 2003
Micellar paclitaxel improves severe psoriasis in a prospective phase II pilot study

Alison Ehrlich, MD, MHS a, Susan Booher, RN a, Yvonne Becerra, MD a, Debra L Borris, MS a, W.Douglas Figg, PharmD b, Maria L Turner, MD a, Andrew Blauvelt, MD a,
a Dermatology Branch , Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 
b Medicine Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 

*Reprint requests: Andrew Blauvelt, MD, Building 10/Room 12N238, 10 Center Drive MSC 1908, Bethesda, MD 20892-1908, USA.

Taxanes (eg, paclitaxel) are chemotherapeutic agents that have antiproliferative, antiangiogenic, and antiinflammatory properties.


We sought to explore the safety and efficacy of paclitaxel in individuals with severe psoriasis.


An open-label, prospective, phase II pilot study was conducted at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, a federal government medical research facility, in Bethesda, Maryland. Twelve patients with severe psoriasis, as defined by a baseline Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) score of ≥ 20), were studied. Initially, patients received 6 intravenous infusions of micellar paclitaxel, 75 mg/m2, at 4-week intervals (stage I). Later patients received 9 intravenous infusions of micellar paclitaxel at 2-week intervals (37.5 mg/m2 for 3 doses followed by 50 mg/m2 for six additional doses) (stage II). The primary end point was the percent change in the PASI from week 0 to week 24 in stage I and from week 0 to week 20 in stage II.


In stage I, all 5 patients improved (mean = 59.7% decrease in PASI, median = 59.6%, range: 40.3%-79.2%). Four of the 7 patients completed stage II and all of these patients improved (mean = 45.9% decrease in PASI, median = 45.0%, range: 14.6%-79.1%). Micellar paclitaxel was well tolerated by most patients.


Micellar paclitaxel demonstrates therapeutic activity in patients with severe psoriasis.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

 This study was supported by the intramural research program of the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md. Micellar paclitaxel (Paxceed) was provided by Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Vancouver, Canada.
Conflicts of interest: None identified.

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