It is estimated that more than 60 percent of people with Chronic Rhinosinusitis - CRS - have some kind of smell loss, making it one of the biggest causes of smell disorders.
Current treatments are based around managing the symptoms, and often involve long-term care and treatment plans. Now researchers are working to better understand CRS and develop new treatments for this condition.
ENT UK defines CRS as inflammation of the nose and paranasal sinuses with persistence of symptoms for more than 12 weeks. The cause of chronic rhinosinusitis is largely unknown but is likely to involve different factors with inflammation, infection and obstruction of sinus ventilation playing a part. ENT UK believes that 10 percent of the UK adult population live with CRS, which can cause many problems in day to day life.
Most cases of CRS are usually categorised as being either with (CRSwNP) or or without (CRSsNP) nasal polyps, based on whether polyps are seen in the nose. But now researchers are starting to realise that there are in fact different types of CRS that can be identified by looking closely at what is going on within a person’s cells and immune system.
Researchers are beginning to understand different types of immune response can cause different types of CRS and the inflammation that characterises the condition. Understanding specific causes of inflammation is an important step in developing new treatments.
What are biologics?
Biologics are biological treatments designed to use the body’s own immune system to heal itself. This might be by introducing different chemical signals to cells to stop inflammation, or by asking different cells to take over the response.
Inflammatory diseases often start in response to a normal trigger, for example a foreign body or bacteria, but become imbalanced or oversensitive. This can cause inflammation when there is no longer a threat, or cause an immune response that isn’t actually tackling the problem. By correcting this with biologics, it is hoped that the immune system can respond appropriately and the unhelpful inflammation can be stopped.
Because these treatments use proteins or chemicals that are a normal part of your immune system, they don’t have a larger negative impact on the rest of the body or the way that the immune system will work normally.
An additional benefit to biologics is that they can be given as a one-off or short-term treatment, and continue to have an effect for years or even totally cure a condition.
Biologics for CRS?
With the identification of different types of CRS based on what is actually happening within the cells and the immune system, it is hoped that treatments can be developed and given to the right people to help them.
Research into better understanding CRS and finding out what is happening to cause the inflammation is in full swing and researchers are hopeful they can identify new treatments. There is still some way to go before patients receive treatment in clinics, but biologics is a very exciting area of potential. We’ll keep you posted!