Development and validation of scoring systems for outcome measures of vitiligo: an international cooperative initiative

Beneficiary: Professor, Dr Nanja van Geel, Department of Dermatology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium

Grant: DKK 735,000

Clinical trials for vitiligo – a skin disease that causes loss of skin color in blotches – lack uniformity in reported outcomes and the measurements hereof. This lack of uniformity hampers development of general treatment guidelines, as it limits appropriate interpretation and comparison of results. In particular, since vitiligo is without biomarkers, clinical measurement tools are crucial to assess disease extent.

A recently introduced scoring instrument, Vitiligo Extent Score (VES), will play a central role in this international project. The project team comprises researchers from Belgium, Netherlands, France, Italy, and the UK, and their aim is to create a worldwide consensus on measuring disease severity.

The VES was designed to be intuitive, fast and accurate, and the team has successfully performed an initial validation for estimating global disease extent. The aim of this project is to further develop and validate reliable and feasible instruments to assess vitiligo status in order to improve evidence-based therapeutic decisions and develop novel treatments.

Hereafter, the tool will be used for the development of other scoring methods including a patient-reported outcome measure, a physician global assessment, a vitiligo disease activity score, and a digital image analysis system for target lesions.