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New allergy treatment shows promise

Category: Allergy Testing

An experimental treatment for food allergies, still under research at leading medical centers such as Johns Hopkins, has been showing promising results in children, according to a report in the Washington Post.

"It's pretty encouraging," said Dr Robert A. Wood, chief of pediatric allergy and immunology at Johns Hopkins, who has been involved in some of the studies of the new treatment. "We've still got a long way to go, but I never thought we'd get this far."

Called oral immunotherapy, the treatment involves desensitizing the immune system by ingesting slowly-increasing amounts of the food that causes the allergy.

In March, at the annual scientific meeting of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, researchers from Duke University showed that it could be successfully used to treat peanut allergy and that the approach induced regulatory T cells and secretion of IL-10 indicative of tolerance to peanut proteins.

"It's still very investigational," said Dr Wesley Burks, chief of the division of pediatric allergy and immunology at Duke University, who led that study.

The AAAI says that more than 3 percent of adults have one or more food allergies and food allergies among children have risen 18 percent from 1997 to 2007.ADNFCR-2248-ID-19219924-ADNFCR

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