TJU Announces PRP Center of Excellence


From the Editor…

In an open letter to the PRP Community, Drs. Uitto, Keller and Ross announced the establishment of the nation’s first PRP Center of Excellence, located at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA. What does this mean to the PRP community? We have asked questions based on the comments from the PRP community and will update accordingly.

“It is with great pleasure that we write to you to announce the first PRP Center of Excellence at the Department of Dermatology & Cutaneous Biology of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. This Clinic seamlessly integrates laboratory and clinical sciences to improve patient care and research to advance our understanding of this devastating disease.”

 Will there be more that one PRP Center of Excellence at TJU?

 Is the Center of Excellence a clinic or more than a clinic?

 What is the difference between laboratory sciences and clinical sciences?

“At the PRP Center of Excellence, each patient will have a personalized consultation to review the prior diagnoses, biopsies and treatments with the world’s leading clinical dermatologists, dermatopathologists and basic science researchers in the field of dermatology. Your appointment will include whole body photography to document one’s progress during care, interdisciplinary review of diagnostic data (biopsy and other tests), and access to direct enrollment into clinical research.”

 How much time is allotted for the “personalized consultation”?

“Together with one of our clinical dermatologists, treatment decisions at the PRP Center of Excellence will be based on evidence-based algorithms that draw from research and expert opinions of a variety of medical disciplines to provide you with the greatest chance of successfully and safely treating your PRP.”

✽  How will the PRP Center of Excellence facilitate access to pharmaceuticals that have yet to be approved for PRP by the Federal Drug Administration?

In addition, at Thomas Jefferson University, patients have access to the largest network of tertiary referral center services in the region. This is particularly important because PRP is often accompanied by other diagnoses that can affect quality of life, one’s health and treatment decisions. It is this attention to the whole body that will allow you to heal. Specifically, patients can obtain appointments with therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists within the same building as the Dermatology Clinic to seek care for the depression and anxiety that can often accompany PRP. Patients will also be able to make appointments with Will’s Eye Hospital at Thomas Jefferson University for specialized ophthalmology care as the incidence of damaging conditions of the eye, such as ectropion (outward turning of the eyelid) and keratoco unctivitis (severely dry, pain lly irritated eyes), is increased in PRP. In addition, patients can schedule appointments with other nationally recognized fields such as Jefferson cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, hematology, neurology, oncology, nutrition and integrative medicine to manage any accompanying health concerns.

✽  As a matter of official treatment protocol, will the PRP Center of Excellence refer PRP patients to the following PRP support resources:

▸  National Organization of Rare Disorders: PRP Report
▸  Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center: PRP Report
▸  PRP Alliance, Inc.
 PRP Survival Guide
▸  PRP Facebook Support Group
▸  PRP Community on RareConnect

The PRP Center of Excellence marks another achievement of the PRP Community in advancing access, quality and value of care. We look forward to continuing to serve the Community and hope to see you soon! To schedule your consultation with Drs. Keller and Ross, please call (215) 955-9295.

✽  Is there an expectation that PRP patients beyond Southeaster Pennsylvania, e.g., New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware will access the resources of the PRP Center of Excellence?

✽  Is there an opportunity for a Second Opinion regarding diagnosis and treatment?

✽  Will other healthcare professionals be able to “consult” with the PRP Center of Excellence?

Sincerely,

Jouni Uitto, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair
Matthew Keller, MD, Associate Professor
Nicholas Ross, MD, Resident-Physician

The announcement was made to the PRP Facebook Community on November 13 and generated an immediate response including 52 LIKES and 38 COMMENTS including the following (as of 11/14/5:17 PM CST):

Teri R — Ft. Wayne, IN
Awesome

Eric S — San Luis Obispo, CA
That is terrific news! Though I am in remission I am glad to know that there is a place specializing in this condition for future sufferers.

Marion M — Ireland
Wonderful news and it will help so many. Well done to all who made it happen.

Margarita B
…find a medicine that puts an end to the PRP!

Anne E — UK
Fantastic News!

Leslie L
So happy to hear this!!! It is wonderful news!! THANK YOU SO MUCH to all who made this possible!!!Abbie C — San Antonio, TXThis is great.Chris U — England, UK
Great news.

Phil P — England, UK
Congratulations to all from over the Pond. PRP on PRP

Alan C — England, UK
This has the potential to be an excellent resource! Well done to all involved in helping and supporting this development!

Cathy H — China Grove, NC
Wow this is wonderful….

Sandi H
This is great news. Thank you for sharing this!

Marianne B  — San Diego, CA
Please tell me how this is going to help anyone if they don’t live in or near Pennsylvania?

Linda B — England

Or even further afield!

Tierney R — Virginia Beach, VA
Travel. I had to drive 5 1/2 hours and spend the night. I raised money through GoFundMe.

Marianne B — San Diego, CA
I will have to drive two weeks and Linda B  will need a ship.

Burt U — Kenedy, Texas
Outstanding

Guy F — Scaggsville, MD
Excellent news! I was treated by Dr. Keller up until April 2017 with significant clearing and I am participating in TJU’s PRP study. I have nothing but good things to say about TJU Dermatology!

Norma M — Chicago, IL
Wonderful news! It’s a start. More centers of excellence will likely follow

Craig W — Charlotte, NC

Epic news!

Connie D — Maitland, FL
Yippee!!!!!!!

 

If you have any question regarding the PRP Center of Excellence at Thomas Jefferson University, please “Leave a Reply” below and we will find the answer for you.

 

OTR26 — TJU Announces PRP Center of Excellence

Thank you for subscribing…

It was Thursday, October 1, 2015 when I posted the 24th and final issue of On the Road… on the PRP Alliance website. After writing 598 pages of “PRP stuff” I was ready to shift my focus to the PRP Survival Guide. No more self-imposed, end-of-the-month deadlines for me. Besides, I was in remission.

It has been over two years and I am still in remission — but eager to publish a newsletter for the PRP community.

I urge every PRP patient and caregiver who subscribes to On the Road…  to take the time to read what we publish and share your personal insights. PRP patients and caregivers live with PRP day in and day out. You are the subject matter expert for your version of PRP. We need to tell all our stories.

Bill McCue, Editor

PRP Awareness Month Begins Today


November 1, 2017
Every patient organization needs an Awareness Day they can call their own. We celebrate Rare Disease Day on the last day of February and share the spotlight with 7,000 other rare diseases. However, PRP Awareness Month gives us 30 days to crow like a banty rooster, shake our tail feathers and get more than our fair share of attention. — Bill McCue

My first PRP Awareness Day was November 28, 2012 and quite “unofficial” by any standards. It began with a phone call from my dermatologist’s office. I was told that the red spot on my forehead on August 8 — nearly four months prior — had been the onset of pityriasis rubra pilaris. Like most PRP “newbies”, I spent the next few days searching the internet and learning what little there was to learn about PRP. What I found was redundant, insufficient, outdated, and typically written for an audience of healthcare professionals.

On November 1, 2013, I celebrated PRP Awareness Day once again. This time I sent out over 1,500 emails to PRP patients and caregivers and called the effort the PRP Worldwide Census. It had taken me several months during the previous summer to review over 29,000 emails in the PRP Support Group Archive going back to November, 1997.  As I  collected email addresses I also harvested “core” information about the onset, diagnosis, and treatment of PRP. It took six months to solicit 500 responses. That was the genesis of the PRP Community Database.

November 6, 2014 was the first “official” observance of PRP Awareness Day. The date was selected to commemorate the signing of the Rare Diseases Act of 2002 that set the threshold for a rare disease. A rare disease or disorder is defined in the U.S. as one affecting fewer than 200,000 Americans. Using the European standard, however, the U.S. threshold would be only 160,000. Today there are more than 7,000 known rare diseases, and it is estimated that about 30 million Americans are affected by them.

November 6-8, 2015 was the first “official” observance of PRP Awareness Weekend since the 6th fell on a Friday. The “Big Event” would be a global  Meet & Greet. Whether face to face or using technology (FaceTime, Skype and ooVoo) we pitched the idea to the PRP Facebook Support Group.  Other than a few face-to-face Meet & Greets and a spike in Facetime encounters, the effort missed it’s mark. Lesson learned.

November 1-30, 2016 was the first “official” observance of PRP Awareness Month.  Perhaps all we needed was 30 days rather than a weekend or a day. Sunday, November 6th was selected to host a 24-hour GoToMeeting gathering. Only the predictable and dependable cadre of seasoned PRP travelers stopped by to chat.


An important lesson has been learned over the past five years. If you run the same flag up the flagpole, the same people are going to salute. We’re going to try something different.

  ✔︎  Revive the PRP Community newsletter
  ✔︎  Launch the PRP Worldwide Census
  ✔︎  Execute the Rare Skin Disease Referral Initiative
  ✔︎  Initiate PRP Surveys
  ✔︎  Recruit participants for PRP research
  ✔︎  Promote legislative advocacy
  ✔︎  Support the PRP Alliance.

 

 

PRP Awareness Month Begins Today: OTR025.1

Thank You For Being Counted

 

I have been collecting PRP-related information from PRP patients and their caregivers since November, 2013. In the beginning it could take six requests before I received a completed PRP census form.

On the 1st and 15th of ever month the NUMBERS will be posted here.  The list will show the November 1, 2017 numbers and the most current numbers.

The numbers below are based on the “core data” shared by PRP patients and caregivers worldwide. The PRP Community Database is the most complete representation of our patient population. Thank you for sharing your information.

Bill McCue, Founder/President
PRP Alliance, Inc.

 


Recap as of November 1, 2017

Numbers in parentheses ( ) indicate “not providing data”

✽  Total number of PRP patients reporting:   1,629

✽  Reporting email addresses:   1,033 (596)

✽  Reporting location:   1,140 (489)

✽  Reporting onset date:  715 (914)

✽  Reporting onset age:  651 (978)

✽  Reporting diagnosis date: 694 (935)

✽  Reporting current status: 656 (973)

✽  Active:  394

✽  Remission: 262

✽  Remission date: 64 (198)

✽  Reporting standard drug therapies: 67 (1,562)

Why Donate Now?


Let’s start with a little history.

When James Shooter was admitted to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, England in 1828, he unwittingly became the world’s first recorded patient with what the medical community would eventually call pityriasis rubra pilaris.

Fast forward 169 years. The PRP community has only been around since late 1997 when a group of PRP patients and caregivers traded emails on AOL. It was Jean-Luc Deslauriers, a Canadian from New Brunswick, who got the ball rolling. Our own Tierney Ratti and Ginny Maxwell’s mother were there when the PRP Support Group was established. For 16 years PRP patients and caregivers traded an average of 150 emails each month.  It was the only game in town for a while until technology caught up.

In June 2008, Jonah Grant-Scarfe, another Canadian, founded the PRP Facebook Support Group. In September 2013 it transitioned from a Public Forum into a Closed Group with about 100 members. By year’s end Tierney was the Administrator and the rest is history, Today the PRP Facebook community is nearing 1,100 members and growing. Each month a hundred discussions are started with thousands of comments and replies.  The PRP Facebook community has earned the moniker: “The Land of Chat”.

Why Now?
That’s an easy question to answer. It takes money to do the things we want to do. Are the projects and activities worth the effort — worth your donation? That’s a decision we want you to consider. Here’s how we intend to use your donation.


#1 — 2017 PRP WORLDWIDE CENSUS

The first PRP Worldwide Census kicked off on November 1, 2013 with emails being sent to over 1,500 PRP members of the PRP Support Group. Unfortunately, within 24 hours, more than 500 email addresses were purged as “undelverable”. By the end of May, however the PRP Community Database had updated  records for over 1,000 PRP patients.

As of November 17, 2017, the PRP Community Database currently tracks 1,627 PRP patients of which 1,002 (62%) are members of the PRP Facebook Support Group.  The challenge we face is finding the missing data.

✽  Missing locations: 468 (29%)
✽  Missing onset dates: 868 (54%)
✽  Missing onset ages: 933 (58%)
✽  Missing diagnosis dates: 889 (55%)
✽  Missing current status: 927 (57%)

We can do a better job. The focus of the 2017 PRP Worldwide Census is to fill in the data gaps for all the datapoints including:

✽  Onset date
✽  Onset age
✽  Misdiagnoses
✽  Biopsy history
✽  Diagnosis date
Treatment (oral or injection — from a list of drugs)
 Dermatologist of record
✽  Current Status (active/remission)

The PRP Alliance will use the donations  we receive to support the 2017 PRP Worldwide Census.


#2 — DIAGNOSING PRP

During the summer of 2013, a total of 487 PRP patients/caregivers were polled by email and given an opportunity to participate in a first-ever PRP Biopsy Poll. The primary objective of the PRP Biopsy Poll was to better understand the role played by biopsies in the diagnosis of pityriasis rubra pilaris from the PRP patient perspective. There were only two questions:

✽  How many biopsies have you had that supported a PRP diagnosis?
✽  How many biopsies have you had that failed to confirm PRP?

Within a three-week period a total of 256 PRP patients/caregivers responded with the following results:

✽  Diagnoses made strictly on the basis of clinical observations — no biopsies were ordered: 7.8%
✽  The results of the biopsy provided sufficient information to support a diagnosis: 45.3%
✽  Non- conclusive biopsies were ignored when the clinical observations were  “consistent” with a PRP diagnosis: 23.4%
✽  PRP diagnosis made without the benefit of a confirming biopsy: 23.4%
✽  The PRP Biopsy Poll also suggests that when a dermatologist instructs a pathologist to consider PRP, the results nearly always confirm PRP.

It is time to revisit the issue of biopsies and the timely diagnosis of PRP. Your donation will support the 2017 PRP Biopsy Survey.


#3 — TREATING PRP

When a patient is diagnosed with PRP, the dermatologist typical prescribes medications but rarely refers the patient to the PRP Alliance, PRP Facebook Support Group, the PRP Community on RareConnect or to the PRP Survival Guide. Instead, the PRP patient is referred to Dr. Google, Dr. Yahoo or Dr. Bing to find answers and support on their own. On November 1, the PRP Alliance will begin a year-long campaign to change that practice. The PRP Dermatology Referral Initiative will advocate that patients diagnosed with PRP — or any rare skin disorder — be referred to the following websites:

  Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)
  National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD)

The PRP Alliance has the support of both organizations in this effort.
PRP Treatment Efficacy Survey
The PRP community has an opportunity to collect information that could whet the appetite of PRP researchers. We hear the mantra every day: What works for one doesn’t work for all. But let’s quantify what works and what doesn’t, e.g., acitretin, methotrexate, Stelara, Cosentyx, Humira, Remicade, Otezla, Taltz, etc. The PRP Worldwide Census will identify drugs that have been prescribed, the PRP Treatment Efficacy Survey will collect information on what worked and what didn’t.

Your donation will support both the Dermatology Referral Initiative  and the PRP Treatment Efficacy Survey.


#4 — RESEARCHING PRP

Prior to 2012 the PRP community had lamented the lack of PRP research. In October 2012, researchers at Thomas Jefferson University began genetic research with 50 participants. Their focus was on the genetic mutation of CARD14. During the summer of 2015, Dr. Jouni Uitto, Chair of the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology expanded that research. The PRP community provided 105 participants and TJU published their finding in 2016. Today both genetic and clinical research continues in Philadelphia.

The PRP community has been officially invited to participate in three major PRP research projects underway at Yale University School of Medicine. The funding for this research comes from the National Institutes of Health and the Foundation of Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types (FIRST). We are one of the “Related Skin Types”,

 Genetic research where PRP is hereditary, e.g., familial PRP
✽  PRP Patient Registry
✽  PRP Burden of Skin Disease research

Your donation will support the efforts of the PRP Alliance to recruit participants in PRP research at TJU and Yale


#5 — BUILDING PRP AWARENESS

The PRP community newsletter was published during the period  April, 2014 to October, 2015. A total of 24 issues (598 pages) of PRP-related information was shared. The newsletter was suspended when the focus shifted to the PRP Survival Guide. It’s time to bring back the newsletter. It’s time to revive: On the Road… Our Journey from Onset through Remission .

The newsletter will mirror the organization of the PRP Survival Guide.

✽  Chapter 1 — The Basics
✽  Chapter 2 — Diagnosing PRP
✽  Chapter 3 — Treating PRP
✽  Chapter 4 — Daily Life
✽  Chapter 5 — PRP Parents and Kids
✽  Chapter 6 — Remission
✽  Chapter 7 — PRP Research
✽  Chapter 8 — PRP Advocacy

Your donation will underwrite the email distribution of On the Road… to the PRP community worldwide.


If you’ve been wondering how to help or if you’ve been wishing you could do something more, we welcome your tax deductible contribution.

If you needed some “specifics” to justify a donation, we hope that the information we provided here was enough.

The PRP Alliance is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit corporation. Our Employer Identification Number is 47-3868578. We will make sure that your donation receives a proper receipt for your tax records.

Click Here to donate to the PRP Alliance.

Resources Supporting PRP Patients & Caregivers

PRP Alliance.Inc.

The PRP (Pityriasis Rubra Pilaris) Alliance is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit, patient advocacy organization.Our mission is to advocate for the timely and accurate diagnosis of pityriasis rubra pilaris (PRP), the implementation of more effective and accessible treatment options, and an increase in PRP-specific research. Advocacy contacts:

Bill McCue, Founder/President
Plano, TX
Telephone: (214) 205-0574
Email: bill.mccue@prpAlliance.org

Ginny Maxwell, Director, Patient Advocacy
Lexington, SC
Telephone: 803.640.5769
Email: ginny.maxwell@prpAlliance.org

PRP Survival Guide

The PRP Survival Guide is an online repository of patient-reported experiences as reported by the PRP community. It  is offered as an alternative to unstructured and random searches by newly diagnosed PRP patients using Dr. Google, Dr. Yahoo and Dr. Bing. These efforts will almost always lead to frustration and frequently to misinformation.

If we do are job properly, you will either (1) find the answers you seek or (2) send the PRP Survival Guide editor out in search of answers to questions we haven’t asked. Eight chapters provide an organizational framework for PRP patients and caregivers:

✽  Basics
✽  Diagnosing PRP
✽  Treating PRP
✽  Daily Life
✽  PRP Parents and Children
✽  PRP & Remission
✽  PRP Research
 PRP Advocacy

PRP Facebook Support Group

Founded in April 2013, the membership in this Closed Group has grown steadily to nearly 1,100 with representation on every continent. Truely the “Land of Chat”, post a question and comments flood in. Need a hug, the huggers respond. Need a friend … there’s a community of fellow travelers ready to lend an ear or a shoulder. Need information … there are nearly 1,100 members who can share what works and what doesn’t for their unique version of PRP. We learn together. We are in this together.

PRP Community on RareConnect

The PRP Alliance supports RareConnect, an initiative of EURORDIS, the international equivalent of the National Organization of Rare Disorders. Established in April 2015, the PRP Community on RareConnect is a 200+ member, multi-language, non-Facebook option serving adults with PRP and the parents of children diagnosed with juvenile onset.

RareConnect provides a “safe, easy to use platform where rare disease patients, families and patient organizations can develop online communities and conversations across continents and languages. RareConnect partners with the world’s leading rare disease patient groups to offer global online communities allowing people to connect around issues which affect them while living with a rare disease.”

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center

The Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center is a program of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and funded by two parts of the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NCATS and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). GARD provides the public with access to current, reliable, and easy to understand information about rare or genetic diseases in English or Spanish.

The PRP Community advocated that all patients diagnosed with PRP should be routinly referred to GARD’s PRP Repost rather than Dr. Google, Dr. Yahoo and Dr. Bing.

National Organization of Rare Disorders

The National Organization of Rare Disorders maintains a Rare Disease Database to provide brief introductions to more than 1,200 rare diseases — including pityriasis rubra pilaris. These rare disease reports are primarily geared toward patients and families. There is also, however, an important secondary audience, e.g.,  physicians, researchers, nurses, students, journalists and others who might request and benefit from such rare disease information.

The PRP Report (circa 2017) has recently replaced the 2007 version.