Low-dose vital wheat gluten oral immunotherapy induced desensitization after 1 year of treatment in patients with wheat allergy, according to findings recently published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
“Wheat is one of the most common food allergens in children. The only current ‘treatment’ for them is to avoid foods with wheat, which is difficult due to its ubiquitous presence in the American diet. Therefore, we need novel strategies to address wheat allergy,” Anna Nowak-Wegrzyn, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, told Infectious Diseases in Children.
Researchers conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge study, then randomly assigned 46 patients with wheat allergy (median age, 8.7 years) in a 1:1 ratio to receive low-dose wheat gluten oral immunotherapy that escalated to 1,445 mg of wheat protein biweekly, or placebo.
Researchers found that after 1 year, 52% of those who received the oral immunotherapy and none of those who received placebo achieved the primary endpoint of a successfully consumed dose of at least 4,443 mg of wheat protein without an adverse event.
Nowak-Wegrzyn said she was encouraged by the results but was not ready to say they should be implemented in clinical practice.
“This study was small but was designed very rigorously and included the patients with very severe wheat allergy. There is hope that with more research we will be able to provide a treatment that will reduce the risk of life-threatening allergic reactions caused by small amounts of wheat to keep patients with severe wheat allergy safe, and with longer duration of treatment allow them to eat and enjoy regular wheat products in their daily diet,” she said. – by Janel Miller
- Nowak-Wegrzyn A, et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2018;doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2018.08.041.
Disclosures: Nowak-Wegrzyn reports receiving grants from Astellas Pharma, DBV Technologies, Nestle and Nutricia; receiving royalties from UpToDate; serving on advisory boards for ALK-Abelle, the Gerber Institute, Merck and Sanofi Aventis; and being the deputy editor of the Annals of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.