By: Sarah Pisciuneri
CHARLOTTE—A breakthrough could be on the way for acne patients, yet experts at the North Carolina Research Campus are enrolling participants in a new study, using genetics to help find safer ways to treat acne.
With the help of 250 participants, a M.U.R.D.O.C.K. study conducted by Duke University experts, could lead to new, safer ways to treat severe acne. Prescription treatments on the market now come with a slew of listed side affects, even depression and birth defects.
“This is a very understudied disease despite the fact that it is so common and so many people suffer from it, and there aren’t that many treatment options,” said Clinical Data Specialist at the Duke Translational Medicine Institute Michelle Smerek.
Acne affects up to 50 million people in the world, 85 percent of which are teenagers. Out of those cases, 2.5 percent are considered severe. Studying the genetics of participants will help researchers understand who is at risk.
The study helps specialists also understand why participants suffer potential negative side effects of treatment.
“That is gold information for doctors to have when deciding how to treat patients, and also information for patients to have when deciding what to do,” said Smerek.
Smerek said participation is simple, but it can lead to a major impact in the lives of millions suffering. To enroll in the study participants must have taken a prescribed acne medication between the ages of 12 and 18.