University of Chicago Medical Center seeks chronic sinusitis sufferers

University of Chicago Medical Center Seeks Chronic Sinusitis Sufferers

March 29, 2007

The University of Chicago Medical Center is looking for people with chronic sinusitis and/or nasal polyps to participate in a six-month research study.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says one in seven people in the U.S. suffer from chronic sinusitis, which is a frequent or ongoing inflammation of the air-filled spaces behind the forehead, cheeks and eyes. Those with chronic sinusitis often test positive for allergies and may have nasal polyps, a deviated septum, or other aggravating factors.

Some people manage the symptoms fairly effectively with oral decongestants, steroidal nasal sprays or oral steroids. Others continue to suffer in spite of everything they've tried.

Robert Naclerio, MD, Chief of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery at University of Chicago Medical Center says there's a segment of the population with chronic sinusitis that has difficulty breathing, is losing its sense of smell, or continues to experience sinus pain in spite of treatment, which is why these people are looking at alternative methods of treatment.

The University of Chicago Medical Center research study is evaluating the use of a study drug that has proven successful in treating severe asthma and which may be successful in treating chronic sinusitis.

Study subjects receive an injection at the University of Chicago Medical Center every two to four weeks for six months. Frequency depends upon their weight and the level of antibody in the blood (antibodies are proteins manufactured by the body to neutralize foreign proteins in the body). Half of the subjects will receive a placebo. Half will receive the study drug. Participants are not required to give up whatever other treatments they are undergoing for chronic sinusitis during the study.

"We realize the prospect of taking a placebo is disheartening, but this study will really be of interest to those whose symptoms are incredibly bothersome in spite of treatment," says Dr. Naclerio. "There are many people out there seeking other options, because what's available isn't working for them," he adds.

People interested in learning more about the research study should call (773) 702-5889 for details or email Marcy deTineo at