Future therapeutic options in food allergy


Philippe A. Eigenmann, MD
Hôpital des Enfants
6, rue Willy-Donzé
1211 Geneva 14


Up to 5% of young children and 2% of adults suffer from food allergy. Among them many have immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated food allergy, a condition with potentially fatal allergic reactions. Several studies have addressed possible definite treatment options for food allergy. Immunotherapy, by the oral route or by systemic injections shows promising preliminary results, but current interpretation of these therapeutic options are mostly handicapped by studies with insufficient scientific support, or by severe side-effects. Currently, no studies can support pharmacotherapy. Finally, most promising results were recently published with anti-IgE antibodies in a human trial, or various approaches in a mouse model of food allergy (chinese herbal medicine, specific modulation of the T cell response). Rapidly evolving findings might provide hope for a cure of food allergy in the near future.