Experimental treatment may help food allergies
March 5th, 2012
12:00 AM ET

Experimental treatment may help food allergies

Food allergies are tricky business. They're on the rise in the United States and no one knows why.

Some children are allergic to many foods, and it's impossible to know based on preventive testing whether someone will have a mild or severe reaction. And so far there's no cure.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Duke University are working on a treatment that may one day allow kids with allergies to safely eat the foods that cause them life-threatening reactions. It's still in the early stages, but Dr. Robert Wood of Johns Hopkins, who has been on the forefront of food allergy research, estimates the treatment could be brought to the public within six to eight years.

In his new study, researchers explored a treatment for children with cow's milk allergies. The strategy is to desensitize the child by giving small amounts of the allergen (milk). Oral immunotherapy, swallowing small amounts of the allergen, has shown to be more effective than sublingual therapy, which involves putting even tinier quantities of milk under the person's tongue.

Wood and colleagues found promising results from this small experiment with 30 children ages 6 to 18. These kids were severely allergic to cow's milk. Wood presented the study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology this weekend.

The results suggested that children who went through a year of sublingual therapy followed by one to two years of oral immunotherapy were less likely to have significant allergic reactions when undergoing the oral immunotherapy. Still, it did not eliminate all symptoms.

This is particularly important, because about 20% of the kids that Wood and colleagues work with have significant reactions during the treatment that make the therapy unfeasible, Wood said.

Some participants have shown they can safely eat milk products up to a year after stopping the therapies, Wood said. But only one-third have longterm protection. Others need regular exposure to milk in order to maintain protection against allergic reactions.

"With milk that’s not too hard," Wood says, because one could "eat pizza a couple of times a week."

It's not known yet whether children respond better to this kind of treatment than adults, since there have been so few participants in this research. The big barrier to broadening the scope of the research is funding, Wood said.

This is the first time the sublingual therapy has been studied in terms of its benefit as a precursor to the oral immunotherapy, Wood said.

Other research has shown that immunotherapy techniques may similarly work for children with peanut allergies. But tree nuts may be harder to treat, Wood said, because tree-nut allergic individuals often have multiple kinds of nuts they can't eat.

Researchers are separately looking at a drug called omalizumab (Xolair), approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of severe asthma, to see if it could help people with food allergies, too.

Do not try the immunotherapy technique at home; these experiments are conducted under medical supervision.

soundoff (395 Responses)
  1. Zisseloh

    mixing cialis with viagra is cialis dangerous buy cheap cialis

    June 8, 2021 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. EncoxDev

    pharmacy technician certificate online Prometrium generic viagra online canadian pharmacy

    June 9, 2021 at 08:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Christopher Wachter


    June 9, 2021 at 08:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. EncoxHtf

    cialis cheaper cialis ad cialis bph treatment

    June 9, 2021 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. EncoxAni

    canadian pharmacy percocet online canadian pharcharmy canadian pharmacy meds reviews

    June 9, 2021 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. MileSwa

    cialis low dose buy brand cialis black tab cialis

    June 9, 2021 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. ZisseVed

    order cialis online cialis time to take effect cialis super active

    June 9, 2021 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. EncoxAni

    walmart grocery store pharmacy pharmacy technician practice test online free kroger pharmacy store hours

    June 10, 2021 at 08:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. MileSwa

    cialis online no prescription australia cialis paypal pay with cialis drug

    June 12, 2021 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Zisseloh

    order original cialis price comparison cialis cialisblack

    June 12, 2021 at 16:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Catheryn Romane

    I don't know about you people but I love airplanes. I have a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/03/alaska_airlines_apolo_ohno_livery_wi/


    June 13, 2021 at 05:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. EncoxHtf

    cialis and grapefruit enhance buy cialis pay with paypal canada cialis no precription

    June 13, 2021 at 17:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Emory Hofmann

    I don't know about you guys but I infatuated with airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff I don't know about you guys but I love airplanes. I had a friend in highschool that loved airplanes, so here are some airplane related stuff https://www.airlinereporter.com/2010/03/fun-with-photos-the-boeing-727-is-the-best-selling-air-bus/


    June 13, 2021 at 19:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. CrulkAsd

    cialis generic cambodia cialis buy india cheap cialis pills men

    June 13, 2021 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. pharmaceptica.com

    erectile tissue location and function https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 18, 2021 at 23:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. pharmacepticacom

    sildenafil 100mg price online https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 25, 2021 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. pharmacepticacom

    cloroquin https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 25, 2021 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. pharmaceptica.com

    cheap sildenafil 50mg uk https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 27, 2021 at 02:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. pharmaceptica

    how to make hydroxychloroquine https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 27, 2021 at 02:54 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Leave a Reply to RfvbZisse


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.