Phototherapy Effectiveness

Phototherapy (with a complementary agent)

Biologic Drugs

Other Therapies


Percentage of patients achieving at least 75% improvement in Psoriasis Area and Severity Index scores (PASI 75) after approximately 3 months of treatment with available therapies for psoriasis in representative studies. *BIW indicates biweekly; NB, narrow band; PUVA, psoralen and UVA; RePUVA, PUVA and retinoids. Note: Acritretin, Methotrexate, and Cyclosporine are systemic drugs which affect the entire body, not just psoriasis symptoms.  They have been linked with possible serious side effects.

Phototherapy has shown consistently high effectiveness in treating psoriasis for decades. The chart above shows comparative results from clinical studies for phototherapy and several of the new biologic drugs. Claims are made that the biologic drugs provide faster remission. However, the faster remission rates have also, in some cases, been followed by rebound in psoriasis symptoms. Some individuals have been afflicted with 125% or more of their psoriasis symptoms than before treatment. When safety and cost are considered in addition to effectiveness it is easy to see why phototherapy is the number one choice of so many physicians and patients. Please note that while narrow band UVB phototherapy alone provided significant improvement for 57% of patients, it may be your best first choice option when all factors are considered.

Information presented is taken from an article authored by John Koo, M.D. titled Efficacy of PUVA Phototherapy Compared With Biologics, published in Cosmetic Dermatology, Vol. 17 No. 11 S3, Nov. 2004. Presented in part at the American Academy of Dermatology meeting, New York, New York, July 28 – Aug. 1, 2004.   Dr. Koo is a respected researcher and clinician. He is Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Dermatology, University of California. San Francisco (UCSF), and Director, UCSF Psoriasis Treatment Center.  He is also a speaker and consultant for several pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Koo has no association with Daavlin.