MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Sandra Andorf PhD
Kim and Ping Li Director of Computational Biology
Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University
Instructor, Nadeau Lab
Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Food allergies are on the rise in the world. Approximately 15 million Americans have food allergies, which includes around 6 million children. Of people with food allergies, 30-40% are allergic to more than one food and therefore these people have a greater risk for an accidental ingestion resulting in an allergic reaction or anaphylaxis.
Currently there is no FDA approved treatment for food allergies but oral immunotherapy, a treatment in which the patient eats small but slowly increasing doses of their allergen until they can tolerate a specified dose, was shown in research settings to be safe in children and adults for up to 5 foods in parallel.
In this trial, we studied the efficacy and safety of Omalizmuab (an anti-IgE drug) treatment with oral immunotherapy in multifood allergic participants versus placebo with oral immunotherapy for a total of 9 months. We found that 83% of the participants who received Omalizumab could tolerate at least 2 g of at least two different food allergens at the end of the trial compared to 33% of those who received placebo. The participants that received Omalizumab were also desensitized faster, meaning they were on average able to eat 2 g of each of their allergic foods earlier in the treatment. Furthermore, we could show that the use of Omalizumab and the fast updosing is safe.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: In summary, the readers should take away that the group receiving Omalizumab was more successful and desensitized faster to multiple foods relative to the placebo controls in this oral immunotherapy trial.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Important to the participants and their families is how the allergy develops long-term after the successful desensitization by oral immunotherapy. We also recently published studies in which we could show that long-term maintenance dosing of one or several food allergens was feasible for up to the 6 years that we studied without compromising the desensitized status of participants that graduated from earlier oral immunotherapy trials. We are optimistic that this research will lay the ground work for future studies in the field of food allergy, not only for the initial treatment, which still needs a lot of work before we could say that food allergy is fully treated, but also for the long-term.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Despite the safety and success that we could show in this trial, we still urge participants to be very careful and all graduates are still required to carry reaction medicine at all times.
Also, important to mention is that this study would not have been possible without the great work of all co-authors, especially from different backgrounds, including clinical leads and senior authors Sharon Chinthrajah and Kari Nadeau, statisticians Natasha Purington and Manisha Desai, immunologist and pathologist Stephen Galli, clinical personal Whitney Block, Andrew Long and Dana Tupa, as well as Erica Brittain and Amanda Rudman Spergel from the National Institutes of Health.
This trial was funded by the US National Institutes of Health.
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Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017 Dec 11. pii: S2468-1253(17)30392-8. doi: 10.1016/S2468-1253(17)30392-8. [Epub ahead of print]
Anti-IgE treatment with oral immunotherapy in multifood allergic participants: a double-blind, randomised, controlled trial.
Andorf S1, Purington N2, Block WM1, Long AJ1, Tupa D1, Brittain E3, Rudman Spergel A3, Desai M2, Galli SJ4, Nadeau KC1, Chinthrajah RS5.
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