Conference Coverage

Dupilumab shrinks nasal polyps in severe chronic rhinosinusitus



– In adults with severe chronic rhinosinusitus with nasal polyps (CRSwNP), the monoclonal antibody dupilumab is effective for shrinking the polyps, improving symptoms, and reducing the need for systemic corticosteroids and surgery, according to results of two phase 3 studies reported together at the annual congress of the European Respiratory Society.

Dr. Jorge F. Maspero

Dr. Jorge F. Maspero

“Dupilumab improved all of the disease components, and the improvement was observed in most of them at the first assessment,” reported Jorge F. Máspero, MD, research director, Fundacion Cidea, Buenos Aires.

The data were drawn from multicenter phase 3 trials called LIBERTY NP SINUS-24 and LIBERTY NP SINUS-52. Both included stratifications for asthma and for NSAID-exacerbated respiratory disease (ERD), which are common comorbidities. Findings of the two studies were published together just prior to Dr. Máspero’s presentation at the ERS (Lancet. 2019 Sep 26. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31881-1).

For the coprimary end point of endoscopic nasal polyp score (NSP), the reductions were 2.06 and 1.8 at 24 weeks from baseline (both P less than .0001) in SINUS-24 and SINUS-52, respectively. For the nasal congestion or obstruction score, another primary end point, the reductions were 0.89 and 0.87, respectively (both P less than .0001).

There were also major improvements at week 24 on secondary end points, including the Lund-McKay CT score for staging of CRSwNP (P less than .0001), total symptom score (P less than .0001), the UPSIT test for smell (P less than .0001), and SNOT-22 (P less than .0001), a quality of life instrument specific for nasal and sinus diseases.

When these outcomes were graphed, curves for the dupilumab and placebo arms had already separated by 4 weeks, “and then we see the dupilumab patients keep getting better over the course of follow-up, and the effect was seen regardless of comorbidities,” said Dr. Máspero, referring to concomitant asthma or ERD.

The SINUS-24 trial randomly assigned 276 CRSwNP patients to 300 mg dupilumab or placebo, each given subcutaneously every 2 weeks. The SINUS-52 trial, which randomized 448 patients, included the same two arms plus a third arm in which patients also received 300 mg dupilumab every 2 weeks for 24 weeks and then 300 mg every month for an additional 26 weeks.

In a pooled analysis of these trials, patients randomized to dupilumab had a 78% reduction in likelihood of receiving systemic corticosteroids and a 79% reduction in being referred for surgery relative to placebo, Dr. Máspero reported.

Dupilumab, a monoclonal antibody that inhibits the activity of interleukin-4, IL-5, and IL-13, was well tolerated. Among the most common adverse events, there were lower rates of headache (9% vs. 7%), epistaxis (7% vs. 6%), and injection-site erythema (8% vs. 6%) in the dupilumab and placebo arms, respectively, but the rate of serious adverse events (6% vs. 3%) and adverse events leading to treatment discontinuation (5% vs. 3%) were only slightly higher in the active treatment group.

Both trials, which required a bilateral baseline NPS score of 5.0 for entry, recruited a population with relatively severe CRSwNP, according to Dr. Máspero. Of the 724 patients, 204 had ERD.

A restored sense of smell was one of the contributors to an improvement in quality of life.

“The sense of smell improves very quickly after starting dupilumab. Patients reported results within 2 weeks, and there was an almost complete lack of improvement in the placebo group,” Dr. Máspero reported.

Dupilumab is already indicated for the treatment of CRSwNP, but this study confirms a major effect on polyp size, sinus congestion, and symptoms irrespective of the presence of common comorbidities affecting the airways, Dr. Máspero said.

Dr. Maspero reports no potential conflicts of interest.

SOURCE: (Bachert C et al. Lancet. 2019 Sep 26. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31881-1.

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