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Vaccine

20 replies [Last post]
By Greg on Tue, 03-30-99, 01:38

Here is a link to a recent story about a vaccine for peanut allergies. Nice to know at least there are some people out there working on this problem
[url="http://www.msnbc.com/news/254339.asp"]http://www.msnbc.com/news/254339.asp[/url]

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By on Tue, 03-30-99, 03:46

Greg, thanks for the link. I am also glad someone is working on a vaccine but, I have to admit, when I heard a vaccine was in the works, I thought it was for peanut allergic people, not for people who had not already been exposed to the peanut protein. Don't get me wrong, if we can avoid someone new from getting this allergy, that would be wonderful, BUT, as the article mentioned and I quote "the researchers stressed that the study involved mice who had never been exposed to peanuts. Whether the vaccine is effective in those who have already developed peanut allergy, or in people, is unclear."

Also as quoted in the last paragraph of the article - "if the vaccine containing the gene for the peanut protein is given to a mouse that has already developed peanut allergy, the dose may trigger the onset of symptoms."

It is hopeful that a vaccine will be available for EVERYONE in time but I must admit that last paragraph scares me!

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By tracy on Tue, 03-30-99, 04:34

I don't know whether to be encouraged that they've made progress, or scared because the progress they've made so far won't help my peanut-allergic child. Connie -- I too was concerned about the very things you were.

This part gives me some hope:

"The research is preliminary, but it does offer hope that it may be feasible in the near future to use a vaccine to treat peanut allergy in people, according to Dr. Wesley Burks, a professor of pediatrics at Arkansas Children

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By brenda on Tue, 03-30-99, 23:45

oops

[This message has been edited by brenda (edited March 30, 1999).]

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By brenda on Tue, 03-30-99, 23:47

i messed it up again

[This message has been edited by brenda (edited March 30, 1999).]

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By brenda on Tue, 03-30-99, 23:48

Here is another site about the vaccine that had a little bit more description.

[url="http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/990330/1w.html"]http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/990330/1w.html[/url]

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By Mary on Wed, 03-31-99, 03:12

I believe some of the top research efforts to help those afflicted with the peanut allergy and some other food allergies are being carried out by Mt. Sinai NY and University of Arkansas.

I had an earlier post with the following site
[url="http://www.uams.edu/biochem/Faculty/GBANNON.HTM"]www.uams.edu/biochem/Faculty/GBANNON.HTM[/url] Dr. A. Wesley Burks out of University of Arkansas and Dr.
Hugh Sampson out of Mt. Sinai New York are really closing in on this severe allergy. I was fortunate enough to talk with
Dr. Burks. He was optimistic about the research work for densensitizing the peanut allergic population. I also spoke to Dr. Sicherer (who works with Dr. Sampson) at the 1998 Food Allergy Network Conference - I asked him if he agreed with Dr. Burks' view and time frame for a vaccine - HE DID!

The Mt. Sinai Site [url="http://www.mssm.edu/immunobiol/FacultyFrame.html"]www.mssm.edu/immunobiol/FacultyFrame.html[/url] click on Dr. Sampson's name.

The Jaffe Family Foundation has been a major force in the research efforts led by Dr. Sampson. The Institute was
established in 1997 by an endowment gift from the Jaffe Family Foundation. Their program description notes that clinical
research is also an important part of the Institute's work. With the information gathered by the clinical research, the Institute seeks to discover improved treatment options.

I personally am very appreciative of the Jaffe Family and the work they have funded. I do feel that with the generosity of this
family and the expertise and focus given by Dr. Sampson and Dr. Burks to the peanut allergy, we all may see the day when
there is a vaccine to stop life threatening peanut allergic reactions.

I would suggest that you enroll in FAN's upcoming Spring Conferences for 1999 - There will be a report on research efforts/vaccine efforts.

In addition, you can review the abstracts on peanut allergy research findings and other allergy abstracts through the AAAAAI. Their site is [url="http://www.aaaai.org/default.htm"]http://www.aaaai.org/default.htm[/url]

[This message has been edited by Mary (edited March 30, 1999).]

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By tracy on Wed, 03-31-99, 17:56

I just read the article posted by Brenda and am more than a little concerned about where things are going. Here's part of the article:

*******
[...]
``We chose to use a preventive vaccine model instead of a treatment model,'' they wrote.

A treatment or therapeutic vaccine is used to treat existing disease, or in this case, existing allergy, as opposed to trying to prevent infection or allergic reaction in the first place.

A vaccine might not work in someone who is already allergic to peanuts, they said.

``However, given that the only treatment of food allergy is complete avoidance of all allergen-containing food products and often involves aggressive emergency treatments, pre-immunization may be a viable therapeutic model,'' they wrote.
********************

What good is a preventative vaccine going to do for people who already have the allergy?

Do they think all parents will go for vaccinating their kids against a possible peanut allergy? Some will, but I bet a lot won't because they might be afraid their kids will get the allergy if they're innoculated.

I would like them to work on something that will help my son, who has the allergy. Am I misunderstanding something? Is this just the first step in their research, or is this the solution they've decided to work on?

--Tracy

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By Greg on Wed, 03-31-99, 18:14

One slightly encouraging fact found in the article is that the mice that were tested were bred to be allergic to peanuts, which is more akin to a person already having the allergy as opposed to giving the vaccine to someone who never had the allergy. I suppose this 'might' mean that in the future it may work for someone who already has a peanut allergy. Just don't expect me to have my daughter first in line to try it,maybe way down the line when if it shown to be safe, but not after many,many,many tests.
Just as a curious side note, I noticed the material used to deliver the drug was created from the shells of crustaceans. I wonder if this could have implications for those with severe shellfish allergies?? Being personally clueless to shellfish allergies I was just wondering.

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By LauraP on Wed, 03-31-99, 20:16

Hi All!

I spoke with a woman last week (she called me as a result of the article on my son in "Child" Magazine). She works on the fund raising for Dr. Sampson and the Mt. Sinai vaccine. She told me their vaccine CAN be used on those already allergic to peanuts! While it won't eliminate allergic symptoms entirely, it will prevent anaphalyxis in those already allergic. I couldn't believe what I was hearing! She said this vaccine is going into clinical trials in adults in six months, and then children will follow. Hopefully, it will be available to the public in the next five years. Has anyone else heard this one? I hope it's true!

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By Coco on Wed, 03-31-99, 21:39

Yes. We had a lot of information also at one time on the research into this area by, I believe somebody at Cambridge. I believe the clinical trials were being done in Poland. (I also believe that the first volunteer ceased to exist. Please feel free to correct me at any point...I have been trying to relocate one of the sources of this information. I can't find anything about it. Funny that you should mention Dr. Sampson. I just E mailed him earlier today asking for the most current information on this and any other studies going on. Will let you know if I hear anything (if I don't I will ask one of his colleages to contact him again).

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By brenda on Thu, 04-01-99, 03:05

Dr. Sampson is probably conducting research in both areas of pnt allergy (preventive and treatment), but happens to be further along with the preventive treatment since that is probably the easier one to tackle.

It is very important progress that they have developed an in vivo model (animal model) that can be used for testing therapies for pnt allergy. It can take many years alone just to develop an animal model. Also, they will probably need to test in more than one kind of animal model before they can go into humans.

Another institute that has a peanut allergy research program is the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine in Denver, Col. Genetech, a biotech company, has an allergy vacinne is clinical trials now, but I don't know what allergies it is for.

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By tracy on Thu, 04-01-99, 17:58

There's a brief article on the Food Allergy Network web site, located at [url="http://www.foodallergy.org/updates.html."]http://www.foodallergy.org/updates.html.[/url] Here's an important point from that article:

"While it is easy for us to jump to conclusions and assume a cure is obviously "right around the corner" we need to keep some things in mind. "The study looked at prevention rather than using this vaccination on someone who has already had the allergy, commented experts from Johns Hopkins. "We still don't know if the vaccine will work in that way." Further, the study used only one of three major allergenic peanut proteins and looked at only one mouse strain, similar to looking at only one peanut allergic individual."

--Tracy

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By EILEEN on Sun, 04-11-99, 03:22

I am not gettting too excited about this. Having over 20 years experience in medical research and currently communicating the results medical research to physicans and the public, I can tell you that a lot of scientists often need to generate publicity like this to help ensure their funding continues. It does not mean a CURE (which is what we are looking for) is around the corner. Desensitization for peanut allergy is a long way off.

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By tracy on Mon, 04-12-99, 02:44

Eileen,

I don't want to get my hopes up too much, because I know things move very slowly, as your experience has shown you.

However, I was at the Food Allergy Patient conference in Baltimore yesterday and Dr. Robert Wood, an allergist who spoke about the current research said 3 things which gave me more hope.

1) He said there is major funding behind the peanut research.

2) There are 3 different research projects going on, all of which show promise, and could also serve as models for curing or helping other food allergies.

and

3) He said (something to the effect), "For those of you with school-age children [allergic to peanuts], there will be a cure for your children by the time they reach college."

Actually, I'm not sure if he said the word "cure" or not, but it was a very optimistic statement.

So I'm cautiously optimistic. I still don't want to get my hopes up too much.

By the way, Dr. Wood is allergic to peanuts himself, so he's well aware of what people with this allergy go through. I found that very comforting.

--Tracy

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By EILEEN on Mon, 04-12-99, 16:22

Tracy, thanks for your reply. I tend to get a little cynical. Funding means everything and to get funding we all need to be more vocal to ensure food allergy research gets the funding it needs. Is a written summary of the meeting in BAltimore doing to me made available?

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By Chris PeanutAllergy Com on Wed, 04-14-99, 21:08

BabyCenter's article on the vaccine

A Vaccine for Peanut Allergies?

[url="http://www.babycenter.com/news/19990405.html#7452"]http://www.babycenter.com/news/19990405.html#7452[/url]

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[email]"Chris@PeanutAllergy.Com"[/email]

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By tracy on Thu, 04-15-99, 03:08

Eileen,

I have typed up a 5-page "trip report" from the Baltimore FAN conference, but want to check it over tomorrow (Thursday) before posting it -- most likely to the main discussion group. (I've been on a business trip for the past 3 days which has made it difficult to work on personal interests!)

With 3 million Americans allergic to peanuts, there is a business case for research into treatment... which is good. And, as I said earlier, this research can be applied to other food allergies, so it won't just benefit people allergic to peanuts.

--Tracy

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By EILEEN on Thu, 04-15-99, 17:39

Tracy, I am looking forward to reading your trip report. Now that 3 million Americans are reported to have reactions to peanuts, I hope that we can still retain the ADA classification, sounds a lot 3 million disabled. Even if it is an overestimation(I understand this was a telephone survery and not an office-diagnosis), the estimate could be out by 2 million and there would be still 1 million people affected in this country. The UK Anaphylaxis Campaign estimates that 80% of its 5,000 members are peanut allergic (1% of children and up to 2% of the adult population). My 6-year told me this morning that he had thought only his little brother was allergic to peanuts!

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By Kurt on Wed, 05-19-99, 17:20

Thought I was witnessing some confusion in a few posts on this issue so critical to all of us, and wanted to attempt some non-technical, but hopefully fairly accurate, clarification and maybe even offer one new grain of positive news:

1. There are a number of independent efforts underway aimed at treatment, and they each have somewhat different goals. The study that made a brief (and somewhat unfortunate) splash recently is indeed aimed at prevention. Based on a brief dialogue I had with a prominent researcher, it would indeed appear that it's not felt that this is going to be the primary solution for those already allergic. Another study seeks to address peanut protein/peanut allergy specifically and prevent reactions from occurring at all; there are research paths under consideration that could lead either to an ongoing course of treatment or perhaps a single treatment. One drug already well into human trials, commonly referred to as either "anti-IgE" or "E25" targets reaction reduction, and will probably be ready for public use well ahead of anything else. As far as I know, it has only been tested in an asthmatic context. However, as I learned only today, human trials regarding the use of this drug for food allergy treatment are
scheduled to commence this summer. Although
"reaction reduction" doesn't seem to be an appropriate end goal for us, it would be marvelous to have as significant additional reassurance where none was previously available, and I have seen the suggestion that this drug may be used in order to facilitate treatment along the other lines in order to make manageable the risk of adverse reactions during treatment.

No claims for much of the above being terribly brilliant or complete...I'm still feeling incompetent re the biochemistry of all this...but it seemed worthwhile to summarize some of what went before in a single post.

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By barb on Mon, 05-31-99, 15:19

Kurt and all,
Nice and clear synopsis of current events.

The anti-IgE has caused a big buzz at the AAAAI meeting last yr for the treatment of asthma. Because ASTHMA is big business for pharmacutecial companies, I agree that this will be the first thing we see in terms of treatment. We may benefit from the trickle down effect. And as you said, it would be used probably to allow desensitization by immunotherapy that has proved to toxic to date with peanut allergy. I have heard that the treatment for a yr of anti-IgE was in VERY expensive, and some questions raised if insurance companies would pick up the tab. I have not explored the costs.

I have worked in the clinical research setting at the National Institutes of Health. If you went to NIH, you would hear that cure was around the corner on most of the diseases being explored. It is the language of medical research. That means good progress is being made. Clinical trials must be done after pain-staking bench research. Unexpected things arise. I think that we will see a "treatment" for food anaphylaxis in the years to come. But
it will take time. AND we want it to!! So that the FULL impact of the treatment is known.

Sicherer's study in April JACI, the phone survey, estimates 3 million PN/TN allergics in the USA. FAN estimates approx 125 food allergic deaths per yr. IF 100 of those were PN/TN, which is probably a high estimate, the chance of a PN/TN dying of a reaction in a year is 1:30,000. It is a real risk. But in the medical field, it has a good prognosis!!! What it does mean, I believe, is that PN allergy is a serious condition! Reactions will occur despite vigilance. The reactions can be severe or occasionally fatal. They are terrifying to observe or experience. But the reality is that most people with PN/TN allergy do not die of it! The highest risk group of PN/TN allergics are teens and asthmatics and those who live in denial. Here is where our efforts must be directed, to those at highest risk.

I do not make light of this condition! I have seen my daughter experience stridor, closing of her upper airway. She is asthmatic, and that puts her in a higher risk category. It has changed our lives in many, many ways. I worry every day about her and possible reactions. They will occur. I can do my best to prepare her and others to assist her when they occur. That is why EMS issues are so important, I believe. In the event of a reaction, I hope that she, her family or friends, and EMS will be ready to administer Epi.
While we wait for the advances in allergy research.

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