AAAAI: Studies Find Peanut Immunotherapy Promising

Immunotherapy increases tolerance and even allows some children to regularly eat peanuts

MONDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- In peanut-allergic children, peanut oral immunotherapy may be an effective treatment, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from Feb. 28 to March 2 in New Orleans.

A. Wesley Burks, M.D., of the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues randomly assigned children to receive either peanut oral immunotherapy or placebo followed by an oral food challenge. They found that 23 children reached the oral food challenge (15 of the immunotherapy group versus eight of the placebo group), and that the immunotherapy recipients could tolerate a significantly higher median dose of peanut (5,000 versus 315 mg).

In a second study, the same group of researchers studied 12 children who received oral immunotherapy for 32 to 61 months and participated in a food challenge four weeks after the cessation of immunotherapy. They found that nine of the children passed the food challenge and were able to include peanut in their diets.

"We are now trying to identify characteristics in those subjects who were able to stop the therapy to better understand who might be a good candidate for this treatment," Burks said in a statement.

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