Transient Efficacy of Tofacitinib in Alopecia Areata Universalis.

Transient Efficacy of Tofacitinib in Alopecia Areata Universalis.

Anzengruber F, Maul JT, Kamarachev J, Trüeb RM, French LE, Navarini AA.
Case Rep Dermatol. 2016 Apr 22;8(1):102-6. doi: 10.1159/000445182. eCollection 2016 Jan-Apr. PMID: 27194979

Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune disorder that targets hair follicles. Swarms of lymphocytes surround the basis of the follicles, inducing loss of pigmented terminal hair and subsequently inhibit further hair growth. Depending on the extent of involvement, alopecia areata can be associated with a dramatic reduction of quality of life. Currently, no targeted treatment option is available, and topical immune therapies or immunosuppressive drugs are typically used with mixed success. Recently, several cases of alopecia areata responding to Janus kinase inhibitors were published. Here, we report on a businessman with alopecia areata universalis who was treated with tofacitinib. We observed initial signs of hair regrowth in the same timeframe as previously reported, but efficacy quickly waned again, leading to renewed effluvium. Thus, even though tofacitinib and ruxolitinib are a promising new treatment option, we have yet to learn more about their potential role in each particular patient’s individual treatment strategy.