American Journal of Clinical Dermatology

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 209–222 | Cite as

Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics in Moderate-to-Severe Psoriasis

  • María C. Ovejero-Benito
  • Ester Muñoz-Aceituno
  • Alejandra Reolid
  • Miriam Saiz-Rodríguez
  • Francisco Abad-Santos
  • Esteban Daudén
Review Article


Pharmacogenetics is the study of variations in DNA sequence related to drug response. Moreover, the evolution of biotechnology and the sequencing of human DNA have allowed the creation of pharmacogenomics, a branch of genetics that analyzes human genes, the RNAs and proteins encoded by them, and the inter-and intra-individual variations in expression and function in relation to drug response. Pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics are being used to search for biomarkers that can predict response to systemic treatments, including those for moderate-to-severe psoriasis. Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease with an autoimmune contribution. Although its etiology remains unknown, genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors play a role in its development. Diverse systemic and biologic therapies are used to treat moderate-to-severe psoriasis. However, these treatments are not curative, and patients exhibit a wide range of responses to them. Moderate-to-severe psoriasis is usually treated with systemic immunomodulators such as acitretin, ciclosporin, and methotrexate. Anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) drugs (adalimumab, etanercept, or infliximab) are the first-line treatment for patients resistant to conventional systemic therapies. Although these therapies are very efficient, around 30–50% of patients have inadequate response. Ustekinumab is a monoclonal antibody that targets interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-23 and is used for moderate-to-severe psoriasis. New drugs (apremilast, brodalumab, guselkumab, ixekizumab, and secukinumab) have recently been approved for psoriasis. However, response rates to systemic treatments for moderate-to-severe psoriasis range from 35 to 80%, so it is necessary to identify non-invasive biomarkers that could help predict treatment outcomes of these therapies and individualize care for patients with psoriasis. These biomarkers could improve patient quality of life and reduce health costs and potential side effects. Pharmacogenetic studies have identified potential biomarkers for response to biologic treatments for moderate-to-severe psoriasis. These biomarkers need to be validated in clinical trials involving large cohorts of patients before they can be translated to the clinic. We review pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics studies for the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis.



This study was supported by Instituto de Salud Carlos III (FIS PI10/01740, FIS PI13/1598), Fundación Teófilo Hernando, and AbbVie.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of interest

F Abad-Santos has been a consultant or investigator in clinical trials sponsored by the following pharmaceutical companies: Abbott, Alter, Chemo, Cinfa, FAES, Farmalíder, Ferrer, Galenicum, GlaxoSmithKline, Gilead, Janssen-Cilag, Kern, Normon, Novartis, Servier, Silverpharma, Teva, and Zambon. E Daudén has potential conflicts of interest (advisory board member, consultant, grants, research support, participation in clinical trials, honoraria for speaking, and research support) with the following pharmaceutical companies: AbbVie (Abbott), Amgen, Janssen-Cilag, Leo Pharma, Novartis, Pfizer, MSD, and Celgene. M. Saiz-Rodriguez is co-financed by Consejería de Educación, Juventud y Deporte from Comunidad de Madrid, and Fondo Social Europeo. MC Ovejero-Benito, E Muñoz-Aceituno, and A Reolid have no conflicts of interest. The authors have no other relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript apart from those disclosed.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Pharmacology DepartmentHospital Universitario de la Princesa, Instituto Teófilo Hernando, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria la Princesa (IIS-IP)MadridSpain
  2. 2.Dermatology DepartmentHospital Universitario de la Princesa, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria la Princesa (IIS-IP)MadridSpain
  3. 3.SCReN Spanish Clinical Research NetworkInstituto de Salud Carlos III (IIS-IP)MadridSpain

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