immunotherapy

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Hello every body. This is my first post but I have been reading this discussion board for some time with much interest. I live in France and I have to tell you that you are much more aware of allergies in the USA than in France.

My son is a "poly-allergic" as they say since he is 2 : mainly pollen and mites. I wanted him to get some immunotherapy injections to help him get rid of some of his allergies. And went to my son's allergologist and asked him about immunotherapy. He answered to me that the immunotherapy is not very efficient in France because the extracts of allergen produced in France are not good or pure enough.

I told him that I was surprised, and that maybe we should buy the injections from elsewhere. He knew I was connected to this "chat" and he suggested that I openly ask if anyone knew about producers of immunotherapy injections (and also prick tests), their address and telephone number so that he or I got in touch and see what we could do. I really want to try immunotherapy if this can help my son get relief from his allergies. Can you help me ?

Also, I wish to thank all of the participants to this Discussion Board. It is really good to know that human beings care about other human beings and help each other. SongMi

On Oct 14, 1999

Immunotherapy research for peanut allergies is mostly taking place at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, Colorodo. [url="http://www.nationaljewish.org/"]www.nationaljewish.org/[/url]

Quoting from [url="http://www.njc.org/MSU/10n7MSU_Peanut_Allergy.html"]http://www.njc.org/MSU/10n7MSU_Peanut_Allergy.html[/url]

"Rush immunotherapy consisted of a series of steadily increasing injections of peanut extract over a five-day period, The patients then received once-weekly maintenance injections for four weeks. After treatment, the patients were given small quantities of peanuts concealed in capsules and suffered none of the severe reactions they had experienced before.

When the study stopped, three of the volunteers had successfully completed the entire course of treatment with peanut extract. Two other patients were receiving peanut extract, but had not reached the end of the study. All peanut treated subjects were able to reach maintenance dose, and in case did an anaphylactic reaction occur secondary to the peanut immunotherapy.

This study provides preliminary data in a small number of patients suggesting that life-threatening anaphylactic reactions possibly can be reduced or eliminated in some people known to be allergic to peanuts. The potential efficacy of peanut extract rush injection immunotherapy provides a future line of clinical investigation for treatment of this potentially lethal disease. In should be noted, however, that the rate of systemic reactions with rush immunotherapy was 13.3%. At present, this therapy should be considered investigational and done only in research settings with Intensive Care Unit support immediately available."

Warning: This is a dated report (1992). And somehow in my foggy memory, I believe there was a more recent fatality involving immunotherapy which has caused much concern about the method.

Noreen

[This message has been edited by Noreen (edited October 15, 1999).]

On Oct 15, 1999

I went out looking for more information on immunotherapy (and SongMi, this only applies to peanut allergy immunotherapy) and came up with a very recent study. Seems like National Jewish is still working on this kind of cure for peanut allergies (1999):

J Allergy Clin Immunol 1999 Aug;104(2 Pt 1):473-8

Pepsin-digested peanut contains T-cell epitopes but no IgE epitopes.

Hong SJ, Michael JG, Fehringer A, Leung DY

Division of Allergy-Immunology, The National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, CO 80206, USA.

BACKGROUND: Peanuts are a common cause of food-induced anaphylaxis and fatalities. Previous studies have demonstrated that rush immunotherapy to crude peanut extract reduces clinical symptoms triggered by oral peanut challenges, but the immunotherapy was associated with an unacceptably high incidence of systemic allergic reactions. One approach to reduce the frequency of allergic reactions would be to use a modified peanut antigen with low allergenic properties. OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine the immunologic characteristics of crude intact peanut extract before and after pepsin digestion. METHODS: We used IgE immunoblotting and assessment of T-lymphocyte responses to intact and peptic digests of peanut extracts. RESULTS: Western blot analysis of sera from 5 subjects with peanut allergy showed multiple IgE-reactive proteins in crude intact peanut extract that were eliminated after pepsin treatment of the peanut extract. In contrast, pepsin-digested peanut induced significant T-cell proliferation responses (stimulation index = 30) in vitro in PBMCs from 7 subjects with peanut allergy, albeit at lower levels than that induced by intact peanut (stimulation index = 66). Furthermore, IFN-gamma production was induced by intact peanut and pepsin-digested peanut in a concentration-dependent manner. Importantly, T-cell lines generated in response to intact peanut also reacted to pepsin-digested peanut, indicating cross-reactive T-cell epitopes in intact and pepsin-digested peanut. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that pepsin-digested peanut may be useful in peanut immunotherapy because pepsin digestion eliminates IgE reactivity but maintains T-cell reactivity.

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Noreen

On Oct 18, 1999

Sorry if my understanding is wrong, here, but it sounds as if you are asking for standard immunotherapy information for environmental allergies. If this is not the case, please ignore this reply.

I have severe allergies to mites, molds, etc. and have been on immunotherapy for several years. Currently, my vaccine is coming from Walter Reed Army medical center, but before I married a soldier, my first allergist got my vaccines from Greer Laboratories, Inc., P.O. Box 800, Lenoir, NC 28645. I cannot locate a phone number for them. I also have some literature on allergy treatment the doctor provided me, which were produced by the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy, Inc., 1101 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 303, Washington, DC 20005. Their number is (202) 682-0456.

Hopefully, they can be helpful.

Another thing you may want to think about for the pollen allergy: it is reported that if you can find honey that is made by local bees and have the allergic person eat a teaspoon every day, that this will help develop an immunity. I have tried this and never noticed any improvement. May only work for mild cases. However, I would ask your physician about this before trying it with your son if he is SEVERELY allergic to pollens.

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