Beneficiary: scholarship programme

Grant: DKK 2,200,000

The LEO Foundation Scholarship for Dermatological Research aims to strengthen research collaboration within the field of skin cancer between Australia and Denmark by supporting training of and research by young scientists.

One scholarship is offered annually on behalf of the LEO Foundation, alternating between Australia and Denmark.

A candidate from Australia travels to work within a Danish tertiary institution and a Danish student is selected with a view to joining an Australian campus.

The funds received may be used as part of an ongoing PhD project or for postdoctoral research. The funds must in part support a research/educational stay in Australia of at least six months for the Danish student.

Publications

Automated detection of actinic keratoses in clinical photographs

Hames SC, Sinnya S, Tan JM, Morze C, Sahebian A, Soyer HP, Prow TW.

PLoS One. 2015 Jan 23;10(1):e0112447. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112447. eCollection 2015

Counting actinic keratosis – is photographic assessment a reliable alternative to physical examinations in clinical trials?

Sinnya S, O’Rourke P, Ballard E, Tan JM, Morze C, Sahebian A, Hames SC, Prow TW, Green AC, Soyer HP.

Acta Derm Venerol. 2015 May;95(5):604-5. doi: 10.2340/00015555-2040. No abstract avaliable

The future of keratinocyte skin cancer surveillance: automated image analysis to identify and monitor keratinocyte dysplasia

Hames SC, Prow TW.

Curr Probl Dermatol. 2015;46:77-84. doi: 10.1159/000366540. Epub 2014 Dec 18

Automated segmentation of skin strata in reflectance confocal microscopy depth stacks

Hames SC, Ardigò M, Soyer HP, Bradley AP, Prow TW.

PLoS One. 2016 Apr 18;11(4):e10153208. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153208. eCollection 2016.

Automated detection of actinic keratoses in clinical photographs

Hames SC, Sinnya S, Tan JM, Morze C, Sahebian A, Soyer HP, Prow TW.

PLoS One. 2015 Jan 23;10(1):e0112447. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112447. eCollection 2015.

Counting actinic keratosis – is photographic assessment a reliable alternative to physical examination in clinical trials?

Sinnya S, O’Rourke P, Ballard E, Tan JM, Morze C, Sahebian A, Hames SC, Prow TW, Green AC, Soyer HP.

Acta Derm Venereol. 2015 May;95(5):604-5. doi: 10.2340/00015555-2040. No abstract available.

The future of keratinocyte skin cancer surveillance: automated image analysis to identify and monitor keratinocyte dysplasia

Hames SC, Prow TW.

Curr Probl Dermatol. 2015;46:77-84. doi: 10.1159/000366540. Epub 2014 Dec 18

Anatomical skin segmentation in reflectance confocal microscopy with weak labels*

Hames SC, Ardigò M, Soyer HP, Bradley AP, Prow TW.

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/abs_aa.jsp?arnumber=7371231&tag=1

* This won the Canon Extreme Imaging Competition (DICTA category) prize in late 2015

Beneficiaries: Professor Torkil Menné & Professor Jeanne Duus Johansen, Gentofte Hospital, Denmark

Grant: DKK 2,828,000

The project involves several research groups at Gentofte Hospital in Copenhagen and is headed by Professor Torkil Menné and Professor Jeanne Duus Johansen.

The work aims to shed more light on the incidence of eczema in the general population and pave the way for improved prevention and treatment.

Eczema is the most prevalent of the skin disorders. It is not only one of the most common childhood diseases, but also a typical occupational disease, making it one of the most widespread diseases in the overall population. Eczema also results in substantial costs and loss of quality of life for patients.

Despite the disease prevalence, there is a shortage of data and research on eczema in the general population.

This project, which draws on a number of databases and disease registries unique to Denmark, aims to produce a detailed picture of the clinical and sociodemographic aspects of eczema in both the general population and the patient population.

Its specific aims are:

  • To describe the consequences of eczema in terms of health care, education and employment, and the development of co-morbidities
  • To explore the genetics behind eczema and its
    consequences.

 

Publications:

Anatomical patterns of dermatitis in adult filaggrin mutation carriers

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2015 Mar;72(3):440-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2015.01.001. Epub 2015 Feb 7

Predictive factors of self-reported hand eczema in adult Danes – a population based cohort study with 5 year follow-up

Br J Dermatol. 2016 Aug;175(2):287-95. doi: 10.1111/bjd.14476. Epub 2016 May 24

Health-related quality of life in adult dermatitis patients stratified by filaggrin genotype

Contact Dermatitis. 2017 Mar;76(3): 167-177. doi: 10.1111/cod.12731. Epub 2016 Dec 16 

Hand eczema, atopic dermatitis and filaggrin mutations in adult Danes: a registry-based study assessing risk of disability pension

Contact Dermatitis. 2017 Aug;77(2):95-105. doi: 10.1111/cod.12786. Epub 2017 Apr 20

Beneficiary: Dr Peter Riis Hansen, Department of Cardiology P, Gentofte Hospital, Denmark

Grant: DKK 4,200,000

Psoriasis patients have increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), which still carries high morbidity and mortality in western societies, and is increasing dramatically in the emerging economies.

Consequently, research directed at the interface between psoriasis and CVD, from the level of epidemiological studies to basic experimental research, is of paramount importance in order to improve overall care for psoriasis patients, as well as supporting the need to seek help to receive treatment.

A research project led by Dr Peter Riis Hansen, Gentofte Hospital,
Department of Cardiology P, Denmark, will help to:

  • Inform and motivate dermatologists to play a pivotal role in screening and helping patients with psoriasis to prevent an increased risk of CVD
  • Motivate patients with psoriasis to, firstly, seek treatment and assessment of their CVD risk and, secondly, improve treatment of psoriasis to reduce the overall immune activation
  • Establish a murine model of psoriasis and CVD that is suitable for mechanistic studies and preclinical drug evaluation
  • Identify new markers of psoriasis and/or CVD activity that may be relevant for clinical use.

Publications:

Khalid U et al. Psoriasis and new-onset diabetes: a Danish nationwide cohort study. Diabetes Care 2013;6:2404-7

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3714512/

Khalid U et al. Psoriasis and risk of heart failure: a nation-wide cohort study. Eur J Heart Fail 2014;16:743-8

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24903077

Khalid U et al. Sarcoidosis in patients with psoriasis: a population-based cohort study. PLoS ONE 2014;9(10)e109632

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4186869

Khalid U et al. Increased risk of aortic valve stenosis in patients with psoriasis: A nation-wide cohort study. Eur Heart J 2015;36:2177-83

http://eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org/content/36/32/2177.long

Khalid U et al. A nationwide study of the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysms in patients with psoriasis

http://atvb.ahajournals.org/content/36/5/1043.long

Madsen M et al. Effects of TPA-induced experimental psoriasis-like skin inflammation in atherosclerosis-prone apoE knock-out mice. BMC Dermatology 2015

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4940745

Beneficiary: Professor Christopher Griffiths, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, University of Manchester, UK

Grant: DKK 900,000

The background to this project – establishing and operating a multidisciplinary international scientific committee on psoriasis and cardiovascular disease (CVD) – is the increased risk of cardiovascular disease and related mortality amongst psoriasis patients.

Research investigating the interface between the two conditions – from epidemiological studies to basic experimental research – may prove key to improving the overall care of psoriasis patients.

Chaired by Professor Christopher Griffiths from the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences at the University of Manchester in the UK, the committee consists of three dermatologists and three cardiologists, with at least one of each based in the USA.

The committee’s work focuses on:

  • How scientific understanding can be improved through new research initiatives
  • Building a consensus on biomarkers in research
  • The potential relationships between biomarkers and clinical results and the benefits for patients
  • Areas of particular interest for further research
  • Investigation of cardiovascular side-effects in clinical development projects

Beneficiary: Dr Gil Yosipovitch, MD, Professor of the Department of Dermatology at Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA

Grant: EUR 264,874

The LEO Foundation is supporting another project that investigates
itching and may also pave the way for new anti-itch treatments.

The study is led by Dr Gil Yosipovitch, MD, Professor of the Department of Dermatology at Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA, and seeks to investigate aspects of itching in patients with atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.

Itching affects millions of people worldwide and represents a significant medical challenge as no mechanism-specific treatments are currently available. The genetic aspects of itching in chronic pruritic conditions such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis are also rather under-investigated.

Dr Gil Yosipovitch will examine the expression of genes, neuropeptides and other itch-specific mediators specifically implicated in atopic dermatitis and psoriasis in comparison to healthy controls.

The exploration of this area may hold good news for patients, as the findings may be useful in developing new anti-itch treatments.

Publication 

The genetics of chronic itch: gene expression in the skin of atopic dermatitis and psoriasis patients with severe itch

* Nattkemper LA, Tey HL, Valdes-Rodriguez R, Lee H, Mollanazar NK, Albornoz C, Sanders KM, Yosipovitch G, The genetics of chronic itch: gene expression in the skin of atopic dermatitis and psoriasis patients with severe itch, The Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2018), doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2017.12.029.

See article (pdf): Genetics of Chr Itch

Beneficiary: Dr. Harry Slaper, Laboratory for Radiation Research, RIVM, Holland

Grant: DKK 200,000

Dr. Harry Slaper, Laboratory for Radiation Research, RIVM, Holland, has developed a unique model, the AMOUR 2.0, for relating ozone depletion scenarios and UV to changes in skin cancer incidence (melanoma, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)). This model has been used since 2008 as a reference for other researchers in Europe.

The model, however, does not factor in age. Apart from cumulated UV Radiation, age is the major risk factor for the development of Non Melanoma Skin Cancer (NMSC), and an ageing population will contribute to the increasing incidence of NMSCs.

The LEO Foundation has funded a development of the model to also incorporate the effects of population aging in Europe in order to obtain a more precise picture of the projected incidence of NMSC in Europe.

Based on the Dutch Cancer registry and the enhanced model, then, Dr. Slaper has estimated age and gender specific incidence rates, incorporated them into the model as well as UN Population forecasts to forecast the incidence of NMSC in Europe and the contribution of both cumulated UV radiation and age and gender.

The results are expected to play a key role in raising awareness among decision makers in the health care sector on the increasing incidences of non-melanoma skin cancer, an awareness which will also benefit patients as the long-term aim is to increase the political prioritisation of non-melanoma skin cancer.