Oral immunotherapy for peanut allergy shows promise but questions remain

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 30 January 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1265
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1BMJ

A study that found that oral immunotherapy can help children with peanut allergy increase their tolerance to peanuts has been hailed as an important step in treating food allergies, but more studies are needed to answer a range of questions about the treatment before it is more widely used, commentators have said.

In the phase II STOP II trial, 99 children with varying severities of peanut allergy were treated over five years in the National Institute for Healthcare Research Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility at Addenbrooke’s, part of Cambridge University Hospitals.

Aged between seven to 16 years the children were randomly assigned to receive either 26 weeks of oral immunotherapy using gradually escalating doses of peanut protein up to 800 mg/day, or peanut avoidance, the present standard of care. All the children then participated in a double blind placebo controlled oral food challenge during which they gradually consumed increasing amounts of peanut protein under medical supervision to determine at what level they experienced allergic symptoms.

The researchers …

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