Chronic rhinosinusitis is a common upper airway disease that affects 5%-16% of the population worldwide. It is characterized by inflammation of the sinuses for at least 12 weeks despite medical treatment. Nasal polyps frequently accompany chronic sinusitis and their occurrence indicates a serious disease with a potential for a relapse. Nasal polyps is a frustrating disease with frequent recurrence after removal. Besides surgery, nasal polyps treatment is not very successful. Many allergy doctors will start a patient with nasal polyps on Nasonex and/or Singulair which have helped some patients. Samter’s Triad consist of asthma, nasal polyps and aspirin allergy, some patients undergo successful aspirin desensitization for treatment of their nasal polyps and asthma.
A novel nasal polyps treatment was studied by scientists in Korea. This nasal polyps potential treatment involves blocking of an IL-25 protein intranasally. IL-25 has been shown to be responsible for the production of the so called allergy proteins or TH 2 cytokines. They consist of IL-4, IL-5, IL-13 and they also help produce eosinophils. This IL-25 cytokine can be a crucial role in nasal polyp formation. The study showed that IL-25 expression was increased in nasal polyps and it correlated with increased inflammation. Neutralizing IL-25 reduced nasal polyp growth in animals and this might represent a new nasal polyps treatment option in the future.
Many patients with nasal polyps are frustrated because there are no good nasal polyps treatment options. Patients will go under surgery and have them removed, but they can constantly grow back and have to go back for surgery again after a few years. This potential nasal polyps treatment option will have to be studied in the future. IL-25 is one of the cytokines responsible for growth of nasal polyps. Blocking IL-25 may prevent them from growing again. It is too early to be asking your allergy doctor for this treatment if you have nasal polyps, but it is a positive sign that new nasal polyps treatment options are being investigated and studied. Hopefully not in the far distant future we will have nasal polyps treatments besides surgery, Nasonex and Singulair.