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Topical tacalcitol and 308-nm monochromatic excimer light: a synergistic combination for the treatment of vitiligo


Corresponding author:
Fu Wen-wen, M.D.
Department of Dermatology
Huashan Hospital
Fudan University
Wulumuqizhong Road
Shanghai 200040
Tel: 02l 62489999 6410


Background/purpose: To study and compare the efficacy of combined 308-nm monochromatic excimer light (MEL) therapy with tacalcitol vs. that of MEL 308-nm therapy alone in treatment of vitiligo.

Methods: Thirty-eight patients with vitiligo were enrolled in a single-blind, within patient controlled clinical trial. Symmetrical or nearby lesions were randomly applied with either topical tacalcitol cream or vehicle. Each lesion was treated weekly with the 308-nm MEL, for a total of 12 sessions. Patients were examined at monthly intervals. The mean number of sessions and the cumulative dosage for initial repigmentation were calculated.

Result: Thirty-five patients were evaluated. Treatment with tacalcitol and MEL resulted in higher percentages for excellent repigmentation (25.7%) compared with vehicle and MEL (5.7%) (P<0.05). Percentages for total response were 71.4% and 60%, respectively (P>0.05). The mean±SEM cumulative dose and number of excimer light exposures for initial repigmentation were, respectively, 3.93±0.59 J/cm2 and 4.52±0.49 at the tacalcitol side, and, respectively, 4.99±0.68 J/cm2 and 5.3±0.52 at the vehicle side (P<0.05).

Conclusion: Our results have shown that concurrent topical tacalcitol potentiates the efficacy of the 308-nm MEL in the treatment of vitiligo, and that this combination achieves earlier pigmentation with a lower total dosage.