Ustekinumab in hidradenitis suppurativa: clinical results and a search for potential biomarkers in serum

Br J Dermatol. 2016 Apr;174(4):839-46. doi: 10.1111/bjd.14338. Epub 2016 Jan 27.


Background: Treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is difficult and the search for effective therapies continues.

Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of ustekinumab and to discover a potential biomarker for HS.

Methods: Seventeen patients were included in this open-label study and treated with 45 or 90 mg ustekinumab at weeks 0, 4, 16 and 28. Proteomic technology and enzyme-linked assay analysis was applied to sera.

Results: Twelve patients completed the protocol. Moderate-to-marked improvement of the modified Sartorius score was achieved in 82% of patients at week 40 and the Hidradenitis Suppurativa Clinical Response 50 in 47%. With regard to the expression of 54 serum proteins, at baseline, a significant difference was observed between patients and healthy controls. Involved pathways were related to inflammation, immune cell signalling and tissue morphology/development. Good responders had milder disease and lower expression of leukotriene A4-hydrolase (LTA4H). Interleukin (IL)-2R, tumour necrosis factor-α, IL-17A and IL-17F were not elevated and did not change during treatment.

Conclusions: The majority of patients improved with ustekinumab. Although no biomarker was discovered, low LTA4H concentrations with mild disease severity may be predictive of the effectiveness of ustekinumab.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / metabolism
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Dermatologic Agents / adverse effects
  • Epoxide Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / metabolism
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Luteinizing Hormone / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ustekinumab / administration & dosage*
  • Ustekinumab / adverse effects
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Cytokines
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • Epoxide Hydrolases
  • Ustekinumab
  • leukotriene A4 hydrolase