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Oral Immunotherapy Shows Promise in Children with Peanut Allergy — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
January 30, 2014

Oral Immunotherapy Shows Promise in Children with Peanut Allergy

By Kelly Young

Oral immunotherapy in children with peanut allergy is associated with a high rate of desensitization, according to a phase II trial in the Lancet.

Roughly 100 children (aged 7 to 16 years) with peanut allergy were randomized to usual care (peanut avoidance) or 26 weeks of oral immunotherapy — daily doses of peanut flour that increased over time, up to a maintenance dose of 800 mg/day. After 26 weeks, 62% of patients in the treatment group were desensitized (i.e., no reaction during a blinded food challenge of 1400 mg). No patients in the control group were desensitized. Oral itching was the most common side effect, occurring after 6% of doses. Intramuscular adrenaline was administered twice.

A commentator writes that oral immunotherapy "is not ready for clinical use." He says that more research needs to be done on short- and long-term effects, mechanism of action, outcomes, and protocols. "This must be done without added pressure or heightened expectations to quickly produce a marketable therapy."

Reader Comments (1)

Behzad Physician, Nephrology

while the study is interesting and the concept of desensitization not new, i wonder how they convinced the parents that the study is safe and no child will suffer. Or where the children chosen on the basis of the severity of their intolerance?

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