For some children an allergic reaction to common foods such as milk, eggs, or peanuts can cause an anaphylactic reaction. At present no effective treatment for food allergy exists, and strict dietary avoidance of known food triggers is the only preventive option available. Ongoing trials are exploring options for oral immunotherapy (OIT) for desensitization in the treatment of Immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated food allergy, as described in a Review article in Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology.
In "Oral Immunotherapy for Treatment of Immunoglobulin E-Mediated Food Allergy: The Transition to Clinical Practice," Giovanni Pajno, MD and coauthors, University of Messina, Italy and Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL, review the current state of OIT research for the induction of tolerance in individuals with food allergies. While early trials with OIT appear promising, rigorous, multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled studies are needed to address remaining questions regarding optimal formulation, dosing, and duration for the induction of tolerance in affected patients.
"Oral immunotherapy for the treatment of IgE-mediated food allergy remains experimental with a number of unanswered questions," says Editor-in-Chief Mary Cataletto, MD, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, State University of New York at Stony Brook (Stony Brook, NY) and practicing pediatric pulmonologist at Winthrop University Hospital. "However, it offers the potential for not only a life-saving but life-changing therapy for individuals with food allergies."
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The article is available free on the Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology website.