Monthly Archives: February 1999

By Edward Tenner M.D.
Hoffman Estates, Il.

Each type of pemphigus and relate diseases has differing kinds and differing percentages of ocular involvement. Also, the treatments for these diseases have many ocular side effects. Therefore it is very important that an Ophthalmologist examines the eyes of patients with pemphigus . This is especially true at the beginning of symptoms and treatments so any eye problem can be promptly handled.

By Dominik Ettlin, M.D., D.M.D.
Northwestern University Dental School
Chicago, Illinois

As most readers know, the National Pemphigus Foundation held its first annual meeting in Chicago on August 1, 1998. Attendees of the meeting were given a questionnaire. The purpose of this survey was to shed light on the diagnostic process of each participant, and to analyze the collected data for possible trends. The questionnaire was also posted on the Foundation's website for a few weeks. The collaboration between patients and clinicians is critical to gain more insight into the clinical and basic research aspects of the disease. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took the time to answer the questionnaire!

By Sergei A. Grando, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sci.
Professor of Dermatology
University of California Davis
NPF Advisory Board Member

The goal of my research is to develop a safer and more rational treatment for pemphigus. I am deeply concerned that we, as physicians caring for patients with pemphigus, have to accept the risk of severe side effects related to the use of long term, high dose corticosteroid therapy.

Despite recent progress in developing nonhormonal therapy for other autoimmune conditions, the treatment of pemphigus remains largely dependent on corticosteroid hormones. The lack of progress in developing new therapies for pemphigus is ironic because we thought we understood the basic mechanisms responsible for the development of this disease. But, perhaps our understanding was wrong and possibly this misunderstanding has hampered advancement in treatment.