ORLANDO, Fla. — The use of peanut oral immunotherapy resulted in a significantly improved food-related quality of life in peanut-allergic children, as well as their caregivers, according to data presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Based on previous research that indicated that oral immunotherapy (OIT) could be a safe and effective treatment for children with peanut allergies, Jeffrey M. Factor, MD, and colleagues, are conducting an ongoing study to determine whether desensitization by peanut OIT would improve quality of life in peanut-allergic patients.
“It has been demonstrated that patients who have food allergies have significant impairment in their quality of life,” Factor told Infectious Diseases in Children. “What we have begun to do with our specific treatment is to desensitize children — as well as some adolescents and young adults — by oral desensitization to peanut, and measure the changes in the quality of life they experience from the outset until they reach their maintenance dose.”
In the study, peanut-allergic patient aged older than 5 years were enrolled based on reaction history, skin test size (wheal .8 mm diameter), elevated ImmunoCAP (Phadia) levels and oral food challenges. An initial dose of 0.1 mg peanut protein was administered at the outset of the study, and elevated every 2 weeks until a maintenance dose of approximately 450 mg daily was reached. Patients and/or their parents completed age-appropriate food allergy-related quality of life surveys before treatment and upon reaching the maintenance dose.
According to initial results, of the 57 patients enrolled in the study, four children (aged 5 to 12 years) and six adolescents (aged 13 to 17 years) reached the maintenance dose. Parents’ surveyed assessment of children’s quality of life demonstrated clinically significant improvement in 7/8 (87.5%) questions in the domain of food-related anxiety, 8/13 (61.5%) in emotional impact and 8/9 (88.9%) in social and dietary limitations.
“What we have observed is a significantly improved quality of life in terms of parent’s perception of the children’s experiences, adolescents and the children themselves,” Factor said. “The data is quite robust, and of course, it is very rewarding to see families less anxious and less concerned about peanut allergy from the process of desensitization.”
- Factor JM. #112. Presented at: the 2012 AAAAI Annual Meeting; March 2-6, 2012; Orlando, Fla.