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A Nose Job: Nasal Polyp Treatment Options for Geriatric Patients

Amanda Stevenson-Grund - Friday, September 25, 2015

In the general population, the prevalence of NP is considered to be around 4% ... In cadaveric studies, this prevalence has been shown to be as high as 40% ... They predominantly affect adults and usually present in patients older than 20.
Newton, et al. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008; 4: 507

Light shines from within a patient's nose, representing the nasal polyps so prevalent in geriatric patients.

Fine wines and cheeses supposedly get better with age. Health and treatment options do not. There is a need for more geriatric-friendly medication. One example is the treatment of nasal polyps. More treatment options for nasal polyps should be developed with the geriatric patient population in mind because of high prevalence, risk of surgery and compliance.

The likelihood of nasal polyps increases with age. They are rare in children younger than 10 and become more common in older populations. Additionally, some of the causes of nasal polyps, such as rhinitis, become more likely with age. Because geriatric patients comprise such a large proportion of patients with nasal polyps, drug developers should take their special needs into consideration.

Nasal and oral drugs can treat light or moderate nasal polyps, but severe polyps require surgery. Geriatric patients are less likely to be candidates for surgery than younger patients. Older patients have different quality-of-life considerations, too, especially because surgery results aren’t permanent, and polyps usually return.

Nonsurgical treatments for nasal polyps include nasal and oral corticosteroids. Dysphagia is common among the geriatric population, so compliance with oral medication can be low. Even compliance with nasal medication can be low if the regimen requires frequent dosing. According to a 2010 report, about half of people older than age 75 have at least three diseases and take three or more medications. It’s difficult for patients to remain compliant when they have so many medications.

Drug companies should keep in mind the special needs of geriatric patients when developing treatments for nasal polyps because elderly patients face high polyp prevalence, risks of surgery and compliance issues. Orbis Biosciences is uniquely positioned to develop such a treatment because of our Precision Particle FabricationTM technology and our experience developing drugs for this patient population. With our technology, treatment for nasal polyps could get better as patients age.
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