Immunotherapy proves to be effective for the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps

An international study shows the efficacy of a monoclonal antibody, Dupilumab, to treat chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis, when the standard treatment with intranasal corticosteroids does not work. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) publishes the results. Dr. Joaquim Mullol, director of the Rhinology Unit and Smell Clinic at the Otorhinolaryngology Department of Hospital Clinic and coordinator of the Clinical and Experimental Respiratory Immunoallergy IDIBAPS research team, has participated in this preliminary phase II study.

Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis is a disease that causes mucosal inflammation in the nasal cavity and sinuses and affects 3-5% of the population. This inflammation results in symptoms of nasal obstruction and congestion, reduction in or loss of sense of smell, and facial pain (75% of cases). "Many patients do not respond to the only medical treatment available today, intranasal corticosteroids, and must undergo surgery to remove nasal polyps," explains Dr. Mullol, who participated in the study design. Finding treatments that may help improve the symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis is vital because "this disease has a great impact on the quality of life of patients," he adds.

The study published in JAMA and sponsored by Sanofi involved 60 patients from hospitals in four different countries including Hospital Clinic of Barcelona. Patients received Dupilumab and intranasal corticosteroid spray or only the intranasal treatment. The group who received the monoclonal antibody experienced a significant improvement with respect to the size of nasal polyps and nasal airflow. The patients showed an improvement in nasal congestion, sense of smell and sleep disorders. In addition, in those with asthma, this treatment improved the control of the disease.

The results show the potential of this monoclonal antibody to treat several inflammatory and allergic diseases. Researchers are already studying its application in patients with atopic dermatitis or asthma.

Article reference:

Effect of Subcutaneous Dupilumab on Nasal Polyp Burden in Patients With Chronic Sinusitis and Nasal Polyposis: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

Bachert C, Mannent L, Naclerio RM, Mullol J, Ferguson BJ, Gevaert P, Hellings P, Jiao L, Wang L, Evans RR, Pirozzi G, Graham NM, Swanson B, Hamilton JD, Radin A, Gandhi NA, Stahl N, Yancopoulos GD, Sutherland ER.

JAMA. 2016 Feb 2;315(5):469-79. doi: 10.1001/jama.2015.19330.