As discussed previously, new data from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) 2021 Virtual Sessions shows sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) in children under five with peanut allergy results in significant desensitization to allergens and a sustained inresponsiveness to allergen exposure several months after one ends. time. Daily SLIT.
Research presented by Edwin Kim, MD, MS, of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, proves that even younger patients benefit more and last longer.
In the second segment Interview with HCPLive, Kim discusses the next steps of research and application of food allergy immunotherapy.
HCPLive: Something that is highlighted in the AAAAI discussion every year now is the risk of cross-allergic and cross-inflammatory disease. As you said, the patient may suffer from multiple allergies. They can also suffer from asthma, allergies, atopic dermatitis, and others.
We talked a lot about effectively treating something like asthma and what benefits it has for other conditions. But if we were to say that we could treat food allergies better at this early age, how would that affect other comorbid conditions that children often face?
Kim: I mean, that’s a fantastic question. And sadly, I didn’t know that we had a clue at all. I would say that for pollen allergies, your usual environmental allergy, there is a thought that starting to focus on allergy shots younger so that it can prevent the onset of asthma. I don’t know if we have any common sense when it comes to food allergies, whether we would have the same preventive effect on other diseases. We hope so. I personally haven’t seen the data to back it up at this point.
You mentioned the Stanford nut allergy research that comes up quite frequently. Is there anything else you look forward to regarding developments in the field of food allergy treatment?
Kim: First, with our sublingual research: PALFORZIA’s getting that approval is huge, right? I see this as validating food allergy as a real problem, something that needs treatment. And it also, for me, validates the concept of immunotherapy as something that actually works and can provide protection.
At the same time, I think COVID-19 has made it clear that oral immunotherapy is difficult. And it won’t be for everyone. I think it’s important not only to research the application of this treatment to other foods and to make them last longer, but also to find ways to make them more practical. So, I was looking for that. I would love to see questions around, ‘Do we have to do this every day? Is this something that can be a once a week type of treatment? Once a month?’
You know, just thinking from the patient’s point of view: how do we actually make this accessible to the patient? We know it’s working now, and it’s out there. But we are looking for a verbal, hopefully sublingual, and epikutan way. Is there a way forward for that? Because it will represent a simplified version of immunotherapy which may be a good choice for some patients.
So, I’m really looking at the future for not only improvements to science, but also options for patients, because at this point, nothing looks like it’s going to be a cure. With that in mind, any treatment that fits the patient’s goals, I think it will be very important if we are to make a real difference to food allergies.
This basically sounds like the next step of any new therapy: what’s the optimization? What guarantees patient benefit and compliance?
Kim: Correct. I think it’s an amazing time in our field right now. And I think the next few years will really last, because I think the doors are now wide open for new treatments.