Immunotherapy, Egg Allergies

From Oral immunotherapy has potential for treating egg allergic children

NEW ORLEANS – Could a treatment for egg allergy be on the horizon? Late-breaking research presented at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) shows promising results for parents of egg allergic children.

In this first multi-center trial that involved Duke, Johns Hopkins, Mount Sinai, National Jewish and the University of Arkansas, 55 children between the ages of 5 and 18 were randomized to receive egg white solid oral immunotherapy or a placebo. The study spanned three dosing phases: initial escalation, build-up and maintenance. This was then followed by an oral food challenge at approximately 44 weeks to determine how many of the children became desensitized to egg.

Seven subjects withdrew before the oral food challenge took place. While 21 of the 40 who received the egg white oral immunotherapy passed the oral food challenge, none of the 15 who received the placebo did.

“Some of the most exciting research in allergy today focuses on possible treatments for patients with severe food allergy. This important study on the use of oral immunotherapy for children with egg allergy provides further evidence that a real treatment for food allergy will soon be possible,” commented Robert A. Wood, MD, FAAAAI, one of the study authors.

The mean cumulative dose consumed during the oral food challenge by those children who received the egg oral immunotherapy far surpassed that consumed by the placebo group. Symptoms reported during the dosing phases were mild to moderate with no symptoms reported in nearly 12,000 of the doses consumed by the oral immunotherapy group versus only 4,014 symptom-free doses consumed by the placebo group.

In the oral immunotherapy group, there were also significant decreases in egg IgE and egg-specific basophil and mast cell responses. The immune profiles and long-term tolerance of the children involved in the trial are being monitored.


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