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Report from the Medical Dermatology Society

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Report from the Medical Dermatology Society
Richard D. Sontheimer, M.D.
Dermatology Online Journal: 3(2): 9

The third annual meeting

The Third Annual Meeting of the Medical Dermatology Society (MDS) was held on Thursday, March 20, 1997 at the San Francisco Marriott Hotel. The meeting began with a Minisymposium on AIDS- Related Skin Disease. Steven Deeks of the Infectious Diseases Division at San Francisco General Hospital presented a stimulating discussion of recent developments in HIV-1 retroviral therapy in which he emphasized the need for triple drug therapy from the very outset of treatment. Timothy G. Berger of the Department of Dermatology at the University of California at San Francisco next presented a comprehensive and highly-useful discussion of current issues of interest to the dermatology consultant in AIDS-associated skin disease.
Four challenging cases were presented at a Thieves Market of in- patient dermatology problems. M. Joy Rico and William Carey of the Department of Dermatology at NYU presented an unusual case that could best be classified as Systemic Plasmacytosis with Cutaneous Involvement. Sarah A. Meyers of the Division of Dermatology at Duke presented an unknown case of Granulomatous Dermatitis in an AIDS Patient and received several useful suggestions concerning diagnosis and treatment. Warren R. Heymann of the Cooper Medical Clinic in Marleton, NJ, presented an instructive case of Kwashiorkor/Zinc Deficiency Following Partial Gastrectomy. This part of the program was concluded by Dr. Jan Dutz of the Department of Dermatology at the Univ. of British Columbia who in collaboration with R.D. Sontheimer of the UT Southwestern Medical Center presented a case of Hepatitis C- Induced Cutaneous Polyarteritis Nodosa Successfully Managed with Alpha-Interferon and reviewed the evolving link between hepatitis C virus infection, cryoglobulinemia, and syndromes of cutaneous vasculitis.

The remainder of the scientific program was devoted to a discussion of ongoing and planned studies by the MDS Cooperative Systematic Studies Group. Victoria P. Werth of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania presented a status report of a multicenter clinical trial of Dapsone as a corticosteroid-sparing agent in pemphigus that has reached the point of beginning to enroll patients. This study represents a very important pilot and feasibility effort by the MDS Cooperative Systematic Studies Group and Dr. Werth is to be congratulated for her herculean efforts over the past year in bringing this study to fruition. The MDS also wishes to thank Jacobus Pharmaceutical Co., Inc. for its support of this study (provision of drug, statistical support, and assistance in obtaining FDA approval). Those interested in discussing this study with Dr. Werth can reach her at the following numbers: phone - (215) 662-2399, Fax - (215) 823-5168, Email - Following Dr. Werth's presentation, Elizabeth Dugan of the George Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC presented the current status of an ongoing collaborative effort between herself and Lisa Rider and Fred Miller at the Food and Drug Administration Molecular Immunology Laboratory to develop and validate a cutaneous assessment tool for the systematic study of skin lesions of dermatomyositis. Immediately following, R.D. Sontheimer presented a working draft of a proposal for an internet-accessible MDS Adult Amyopathic Dermatomyositis (Dermatomyositis Sine´ Myositis) Registry that might integrate into its design the cutaneous assessment tool for the skin lesions of dermatomyositis.

The scientific program was followed immediately by a business meeting that was opened with reports by the Bylaws Committee (Lela Lee, [chair], Joy Rico, Russ Hall) and the Nominations Committee (Warren Piette [chair], Maria Chanco-Turner, Irwin Braverman ). The first draft of a set of Bylaws was discussed and following revisions, these Bylaws will be formally presented to the MDS membership by mail for final approval. A slate of candidates for new officers of the MDS was presented by the Nominations Committee and elected by acclamation. The officers for 1997-1998 are President - Victoria Werth (one year term), Vice-President - Lela Lee (one year term), and Secretary- Treasurer - Art Huntley (two year term). Rick Sontheimer next discussed the MDS email discussion list, MEDDERM. The list has been building momentum slowly and now includes 39 participants. Dermatologists and dermatology trainees wishing to participate in MEDDERM should contact Rick Sontheimer by email at

A number of other issues were discussed at the business meeting including the 1) possibility of some type of mutually-beneficial interaction between the MDS and Society of Investigative Dermatology, 2) suggestions for MDS input into scientific program design for the 1998 American Academy of Dermatology National Meeting, 3) possibility of publishing future MDS meeting proceedings in Dermatology Online Journal, 4) establishment of a Medical Dermatology Society Distinguished Career Award, 5) and discussion of the costs and benefits of maintaining continuing medical education approval for the MDS annual meeting (such approval will not be pursued for future meetings because costs would require an MDS dues increase).

Distinguished international audience participants at this year's meeting included Professor Jean Revuz from the Department of Dermatology at Hopital Henri Mondor, Creteil, France and Professor Takeji Nishikawa from the Department of Dermatology at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan.

The next annual meeting of the MDS will be held on February 26, 1998 in Orlando, Florida. The scientific program for that meeting will be organized by the current President, Victoria Werth. Those interested in registering for that meeting should contact: Art Huntley, M.D., Secretary-Treasurer, Medical Dermatology Society, Department of Dermatology, University of California at Davis, 1605 Alhambra Blvd., Sacramento, California 95816, phone - (916) 734-6795, Fax - (916) 734-6793, Email -

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 copyright is retained by the author(s)