Psoriasis drug linked to skin cancer

A promising new psoriasis drug has suffered a setback, with specialists linking its use to two cases of aggressive skin cancer.

Victorian dermatologists have reported that two patients developed eruptive cutaneous SCCs within months of starting treatment with ustekinumab (Stelara).

The dermatologists said these were the first cases of their kind to be reported, and suggested the drug might trigger cutaneous carcinoma in patients at risk of non-melanoma skin cancer.

“Both patients had pre-existing risk factors for non-melanoma skin cancer, which may have contributed a predisposition to the tumours’ emergence,” they said. “In patients with such risk factors, it may be judicious for clinicians to closely monitor for the emergence of non-melanoma skin cancer.”

In one case, a 63