Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, Food Allergy Counselor (Picture © Noel Malcolm 2013)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Successful Peanut Desensitization Program, UK

A BBC report out of Cambridge University about a successful desensitization trial is potentially promising: “A group of children with peanut allergy no longer have to worry about severe immune reactions after taking part in the world’s first successful peanut desensitization program. The research, carried out at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, involved the patients eating daily doses of peanut flour.” It's early days in this kind of work so we shall have to see.

UPDATE: I knew this story looked familiar and not like new-news. This was confirmed by an email from an allergist buddy who says: "What these studies do not overtly publicize is that most, if not all, of these kids repeatedly reacted at lower doses, so there is some question of safety (though all eventually tolerated the dose escalation)...Similar data exists for milk and egg as well--can increase threshold to exposure, but not a cure to allow at will ingestion. Maybe one day we will get there, but we are not even close right now."

So no "at-will" experiments over the weekend, please.

11 comments:

Jennifer B said...

The mere talk of it is so mind boggling to me. One would still avoid peanuts, but the fear and consequences of accidental ingestion would be lessened--imagine it. We'll have to "stay tuned"...

Rachel said...

My allergist told me that some of the kids in this experiment died but I haven't found that info anywhere.

ChupieandJ'smama said...

I'm hoping that one day it leads to a cure. The problem with these stories is that people assume a little bit won't hurt. Just ask my ILS....
They wouldn't give him a little bit, but they sure do question the heck out of us about it.

Allergic Girl said...

Rachel: i havent heard that at all so pls ask your allergist what they meant. there are several studies like this one floating around in both the US and UK.

Allergic Girl said...

hey janneen--yes media can help the cause and also really not help. and as you know grandparents can be the worst offenders in not quite getting it, as wonderful as grandparents are. ;-)

Jenny said...

I've heard of these studies and I know they give a lot of parents and allergic adults hope for a cure--but THANK YOU for pointing out how new and unpredictabe these studies still are.

I'm uncomfortable with the thought of giving severely allergic children doses of peanut flour--I will have many questions for my allergist this spring!

matt said...

To my knowledge there have been no reported deaths, but some cases of anaphylaxis requiring epinephrine. I would not recommend bringing this and similar studies to the attention of a community allergist--this is something that should ONLY be done in a University/research setting as this is highly experimental still. I would be fearful of someone in private practice trying to interpret this study and generalize it to their own patients as this still is a concept that has not been definitively proven to work. You would be surprised how many community allergists will read something like this and offer it to their patients.

Peter said...

My daughter has a severe peanut allergy and has been involved in a peanut desensitization process since the 1st of April. She is currently eating 2 peanuts for breakfast and 2 for dinner. I was told she has a class 6 (?) allergy - the highest in the office. Believe me, I am not one to take chances but felt we had to try for the safety of our 8 year old. It was completely inconceivable to me that she would ever place anything resembling a peanut in her mouth ..... and it has taken quite a while to feel any sense of comfort. But I am finally sleeping better at night, knowing that if she accidentally eats a microscopic particle of peanut protein she would survive. Her process will end @ 24 peanuts /day - 12 in the morning and 12 at night.

ashleypmo said...

I have a 4 year old with Down syndrome, and a 5 year old with a peanut allergy, and believe me--the peanut allergy is way more life altering!

I hope and pray that the long term data of these studies prove effective. My 5 year old said to me the other night "I don't want to be allergic to peanuts anymore, because I don't want to die." It just breaks my heart.

peterwaterman2 said...

Just read Ashleypmo's comment above... 3 months after the fact. Wanted to add that it was the same revelation of our 8 year old - not wanting to die - that lead us to the desensitization process finally. A now 6 year old at our school is eating 24 peanuts a day - 12 in the morning and 12 in the evening - and he, like us, was severly allergic as well. We have finally gotten to 8 peanuts a day and will eat our first tsp of peanut butter in the next 2 weeks. At this point, the struggle has become more psychological than safety based believe it or not. A teaspoon of peanut butter will be less allergen filled than the current 8 peanuts she is eating and yet we will have to really prepare her mentally for the new challenge. It has been a life lesson I would have never hoped to learn but one worth taking. My only suggestion would be to start earlier than later - 8 being old in our situation - because of the 'baggage' that builds as they mature. There is at least hope and that counts always. Good luck to her.
k

Jett said...

Peter,
what hospital is caring for your daughter? City and state or Country please. My 8 year old was not able to enter a study in NYC. The double blind placebo was already well advanced so no new entrants. Dr. Sicherer warned that bad reactions still do occur.

Joseph