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journal report on egg/peanut studies at Duke (also in Media)

4 replies [Last post]
By melissa on Wed, 11-22-06, 13:16

Pilot Study Successful in Taming Allergic Reactions to Food

Duke University Medical Center
11/21/2006 1:23:49 PM

DURHAM, N.C.

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By PennMom on Wed, 11-22-06, 14:26

Thanks for posting!

Quick question:

Quote from the egg study:
"The seven subjects in the study, who ranged from 1 to 7 years of age, had a history of allergic reactions, including hives, wheezing and vomiting, when they consumed eggs or egg products. For safety

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By Jana R on Thu, 11-23-06, 06:00

Did I read this right? (I did read it fast). Seven subjects? All under the age of seven? Also stated was that most children outgrow their egg allergy by the age of five so how do we know that these seven wouldn't have fallen in that category? Would my 18 year old son still anaphylactic to egg (and milk and peanut and tree nuts and coconut and shellfish and mollusks) be able to benefit from this kind of desensitization or is it only for the very young? I really wanted to get excited about this study but it seems so small and young of a study group.

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Jana

[url="http://www.seattlefoodallergy.org"]www.seattlefoodallergy.org[/url]

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By melissa on Fri, 11-24-06, 20:23

PennMom,
I would have to go get my consent form to be sure but I think you could not have had an anaphylactic rxn prior in the peanut study; I do know that prior reactions in the pn study kids varied from hives to vomiting to wheezing, I believe...if I can pull that consent out I'll get back to you on this.

Jana posted:
"Did I read this right? (I did read it fast). Seven subjects? All under the age of seven? Also stated was that most children outgrow their egg allergy by the age of five so how do we know that these seven wouldn't have fallen in that category? Would my 18 year old son still anaphylactic to egg (and milk and peanut and tree nuts and coconut and shellfish and mollusks) be able to benefit from this kind of desensitization or is it only for the very young? I really wanted to get excited about this study but it seems so small and young of a study group."
I can't answer authoritatively on the egg study b/c we're not in it but I'll try...the goal of all of these studies is for them to work for all ages...I don't know why all the kids were young in this 1st phase of the Duke egg study but I do know that now a Duke consortium is taking over this study and you must be 6 or older to get in. There are more than 7 kids in the study but I believe this is the 1st group; all the others are following suit. For ex., when they finally publish the results of our pn study, they will most likely initially only include the first 8-9 of us, as we have been in longer and have more numbers to report.
As I told Jason somewhere up above this, yes you "could" have all 7 of these kids just randomly outgrow their egg allergy, but it's the pattern they see that makes it attributable to the study (just like the pn study)...all of these kids had prior rxns to egg, then a rxn to a tiny amount on the first day, then less rxns leading to no rxns as the egg amount increases...too much to leave to chance in my opinion, again, same w/ the pn study...you can't tell me that my child is one of 20 kids who just happened to have a major rxn to less than 1/12th of a pn and can now eat 4 a day w/ no rxn...just doesn't happen that way in the real world.
Just FYI, we chose the pn study over the egg study b/c I felt like he had better odds of outgrowing egg than pn...IF he doesn't by age 6 and IF we ever finish w/ the pn study, and IF he's still allergic to egg, I'll be knocking on Duke's door again for the egg treatment. (Plus, his initial RAST for egg was only 4 and I believe it has to be over 15 to get in).
Anyway, the goal and the hope is that in a few years, after further phases of these studies, this same process can be done anywhere with any food allergy.
Melissa
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By melissa on Wed, 11-29-06, 11:53

More indepth article from CBS News

WebMD) Children with food allergies are told to avoid problem foods at all costs, but a novel experimental treatment is taking the opposite approach.

In a two-year pilot study conducted by researchers at Duke University and the University of Arkansas, eggs were very gradually introduced into the diets of kids who were highly allergic to them in an effort to desensitize the children. A similar study is under way involving children with peanut allergies, which more often trigger potentially life-threatening allergic reactions.

Early findings suggest that this gradual challenge approach increases tolerance to problem foods, senior researcher A. Wesley Burks, M.D., tells WebMD. Burks is a professor of pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center.

Researchers hope desensitization will help protect food allergy suffers from serious reactions brought on by accidental ingestion of problem foods.

It may even cure people of their food allergies, although it is too soon to tell, Burks adds.

In the peanut study (currently unpublished), children were initially given the equivalent of 1/3,000 of a peanut. Most were eating a peanut a day within six months with little reaction.

"Some children who had allergic reactions to literally a thousandth of a peanut at the beginning of the study had no reaction later on when challenged with 15 peanuts," says Burks.

While very promising, the desensitization approach to treating food allergies is also highly experimental and should never be attempted without close medical supervision.

Children in the egg and peanut trials were watched closely, and many did experience mild allergic reactions to the food challenges early on, Burks says. "This is definitely not something that would be safe to try at home without medical supervision," he warns.

A detailed analysis of the experiences of seven children participating in the egg trial was published online last week in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Those children ranged in age from 1 to 7, and all had a history of allergic reactions to eggs or egg products

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