New peanut allergy treatment works, study shows

Mar 21, 2011
New peanut allergy treatment works, study shows
Credit: Distal Zou

(PhysOrg.com) -- Allergy experts at the University of Cambridge have convincing evidence that a new treatment for peanut allergies is effective, following a three-year trial.

The trial, from the group of Dr. Pamela Ewan of the Department of Medicine and conducted at Addenbrooke's Hospital, involved a careful regime of feeding chocolate containing peanut flour in gradually increasing doses to patients with severe peanut allergies.

Following on from a small clinical trial conducted in 2009, the team carried out a larger trial involving 22 children.

Before beginning the treatment, the children involved in the study reacted to tiny amounts of peanut. After treatment, 19 of 22 children were able to eat five peanuts a day; two had partial success - eating two to three peanuts a day; and one dropped out of the study at the start.

Dr. Andrew Clark, who led the clinical trial, said: "This is the first time that a peanut allergy study has shown such a high level of success and proves that it is possible for peanut allergic patients to eat peanuts without fear of a severe reaction."

The children and teenagers attended the hospital's clinical research facility to undergo the desensitisation treatment, which still proved effective six months on.

is common, affecting between one and two percent of young children, and can cause severe or even fatal reactions. There is currently no satisfactory treatment. The diagnosis has a major impact on families, because of the fear of a severe reaction and anxiety in making .

"The lives of the families involved in this trial have been transformed," said Dr. Clark. "The amount of peanut that could be tolerated by the children and teenagers on this trial increased 1000-fold."

Studies of peanut from other centres, using different regimes have been less successful. The Cambridge regime involves more gradual increases in dose but eventually a much higher dose of peanut is tolerated.

"This treatment could drastically improve the lives of those currently suffering with severe peanut allergies," said Dr. Maher Khaled of Cambridge Enterprise, the University's commercialization group. "We are currently looking to make this groundbreaking treatment more widely available."

The findings are published today, 18 March, in the journal Clinical and Experimental Allergy. The study was supported by a grant from the Evelyn Trust, and further work is supported by the National Institute for Health Research.

Explore further: US judge overturns state's abortion law (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Peanut allergies overstated, study finds

May 16, 2007

Despite hundreds of families being told their children have peanut allergies every year, many of the children may be able to eat peanuts safely, a study by researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Sydney ...

Treating peanut allergy through a patch

Mar 02, 2011

Can your peanut-allergic child be treated by simply wearing a patch? That’s what researchers at National Jewish Health are investigating. National Jewish Health, along with four other institutions in the Consortium of ...

Gene linked to peanut allergy

Mar 11, 2011

An international collaboration led by researchers at the University of Dundee has discovered a genetic link to peanut allergy. It has been known for some time that peanut allergy can be inherited, but this ...

Recommended for you

US judge overturns state's abortion law (Update)

2 hours ago

A federal judge on Wednesday overturned a North Dakota law banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy and before many women know they're pregnant.

Changing cows' diet could help tackle heart disease

6 hours ago

Adding oilseed to a cow's diet can significantly reduce the harmful saturated fat found in its milk without compromising the white stuff's nutritional benefits, according to research by the University of ...

Low Vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms

15 hours ago

A new study from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) shows no significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopa ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

How kids' brain structures grow as memory develops

Our ability to store memories improves during childhood, associated with structural changes in the hippocampus and its connections with prefrontal and parietal cortices. New research from UC Davis is exploring ...

Gate for bacterial toxins found

Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Aktories and Dr. Panagiotis Papatheodorou from the Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University of Freiburg have discovered the receptor responsible ...

Adventurous bacteria

To reproduce or to conquer the world? Surprisingly, bacteria also face this problem. Theoretical biophysicists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have now shown how these organisms should ...