Pharmacology

The researches find that the allergic to peanuts may have a new way to protect themselves from severe allergic reactions to accidental peanut exposure. Therefore It’s call sublingual immunotherapy or SLIT and it involves putting a miniscule amount of liquefy peanut protein under the tongue; where it is absorb immediately into the blood stream to desensitize the immune system to larger amounts of peanut protein. Therefore Publish in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology; the research led by first author Edwin Kim, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the UNC School of Medicine; shows that SLIT could offer patients a safe and effective way to protect themselves from severe allergic reactions or even anaphylaxis.

Peanut Allergy Treatment

“As a parent of two children with nut allergies; I know the fear parents face and the need for better treatments;” said Kim, member of the UNC Children’s Research Institute. But “They now have the first long-term data showing that sublingual immunotherapy is safe and tolerable; while offering a strong amount of protection.” There are three main immunotherapeutic ways clinician scientists have developed to treat nut allergies; and all of them attempt to desensitize the immune system to nut proteins to help patients avoid severe allergic reactions.

According to Kim, about 100 mg of peanut protein can trigger a severe allergic reaction. That’s the sort of trace amount people fear can show up in food “manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts.” For reference, one peanut kernel contains about 300 mg. Because “The main idea beyond immunotherapy is not for kids to be able to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches;” Kim said. But “It’s to keep them safe from the small hidden exposures that could occur with packaged foods; at restaurants, and with other food exposures.”

Butter and jelly sandwiches,

One immunotherapy method involves a patch on the skin that releases a small amount of peanut protein through the skin to desensitize the immune system. This approach has proved safe in clinical research but perhaps not as effective as researchers had hoped. It could become an FDA-approved treatment. A second approach is call oral immunotherapy (OIT); which is currently under FDA review and a decision is expected this year. OIT requires patients to ingest a small portion of peanut protein daily; and over the course of time this can desensitize the immune system to accidental exposures.

In a large phase 3 OIT clinical trial; patients initially ingested 0.5 mg of peanut and increased the amount; to 300 mg over the course of many weeks and then maintained that 300 mg daily intake for the remainder of the year. This trial showed substantial effectiveness in protecting patients but some patients suffered serious side effects. A subsequent meta-analysis of OIT clinical trial data published in The Lancet in April suggested that more clinical research on OIT was needed due to the risk of serious side effects.