Introduction: We conducted a phase IV randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, pilot clinical trial to investigate the safety and efficacy of oral curcumin together with local phototherapy in patients with plaque psoriasis.
Materials and methods: Patients with moderate to severe psoriasis received Curcuma extract orally with real visible light phototherapy (VLRT) or simulated visible light phototherapy (VLST) in the experimental area, while the rest of the body surface was treated with ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation. The endpoints were the number of responders and the temporal course of the response. The secondary outcomes were related to safety and adverse events.
Results: Twenty-one patients were included in the study. In the intention-to-treat analysis, no patients included in the VLRT group showed "moderate" or "severe" plaques after the treatment, in contrast to the patients included in the VSLT group (p<0.01). Parallelisms in the evolution of PGA, BSA, and PASI scores were observed in the two groups following the treatment. At the end of the study period, 76% of all patients showed a response in the BSA exposed to UVA. Lesions on the experimental area showed a response in 81% of the patients in the VLRT group and 30% of the patients in the VLST group. There were no study-related adverse events that necessitated participant withdrawal.
Conclusion: The results suggested that moderate to severe plaque psoriasis should show a therapeutic response to orally administered Curcuma if activated with visible light phototherapy, a new therapeutic method that would be safer for patients than existing treatments.
Keywords: Curcuma longa extract; phototherapy; psoriasis; visible light.