Allergy immunotherapy (AIT) is an effective treatment for allergic asthma and rhinitis, as well as venom-induced anaphylaxis. In addition to reducing symptoms, AIT can change the course of allergic disease and induce allergen-specific immune tolerance. In current clinical practice immunotherapy is delivered either subcutaneously or sublingually; some allergens, such as grass pollen, can be delivered through either route, whereas others, such as venoms, are only delivered subcutaneously. Both subcutaneous and sublingual immunotherapy appear to have a duration of efficacy of up to 12 years, and both can prevent the development of asthma and new allergen sensitivities. In spite of the advances with AIT, safer and more effective AIT strategies are needed, especially for patients with asthma, atopic dermatitis, or food allergy. Novel approaches to improve AIT include use of adjuvants or recombinant allergens and alternate routes of administration. As part of the PRACTALL initiatives, the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology nominated an expert team to develop a comprehensive consensus report on the mechanisms of AIT and its use in clinical practice, as well as unmet needs and ongoing developments in AIT. This resulting report is endorsed by both academies.
"Although performed for 102 years, allergen immunotherapy (AIT) faces several problems related to its efficacy, side effects, low patient adherence and the high costs due to long duration (3 to 5 years) of treatment [1,2]. The approaches to improve the efficacy and safety of vaccine-based AIT can be classified into different groups (Table 1). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Allergen-specific immunotherapy (SIT) represents the only curative and specific way for the treatment of allergic diseases, which have reached a pandemic dimension in industrial countries affecting up to 20-30% of the population. Although applied for 100 years to cure allergy, SIT still faces several problems related to side effects and limited efficacy. Currently, allergen-SIT is performed with vaccines based on allergen extracts that can cause severe, often life threatening, anaphylactic reactions as well as new IgE sensitization to other allergens present in the extract. Low patient adherence and high costs due to long duration (3 to 5 years) of treatment have been commonly reported. Several strategies have been developed to tackle these issues and it became possible to produce recombinant allergen-SIT vaccines with reduced allergenic activity.
World Allergy Organization Journal 09/2014; 7(1):23. DOI:10.1186/1939-4551-7-23
"Allergen immunotherapy (AIT) is the hallmark of allergic treatments; its disease course-modifying potential has been proven for allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma [1-4]. Despite the beneficial effect of AIT on the natural history of allergic diseases, the potential for systemic adverse reactions may influence its prescription rate. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: At present, there is no European report on clinically relevant systemic reactions due to the regular use of allergen immunotherapy (AIT), administered either subcutaneously or sublingually (SCIT and SLIT, respectively) outside clinical trials. Using an electronic survey and a “harmonised terminology” according to MedDRA, we aimed to prospectively collect systemic adverse reactions due to AIT from real life clinical settings.
Under the framework of the EAACI, a team of European specialists in AIT, pharmacovigilance, epidemiology and drugs regulation set up a web-based prospective pilot survey to be conducted in three European countries (France, Germany and Spain). A designated “national coordinator” was responsible for following ethics requirements relative to each country and to select at least 30 doctors per country.
Patients were recruited the same day they received their first dose of either SCIT or SLIT. Patient inclusion criteria were: adults and children, with IgE mediated pollen, house dust mite, Alternaria, and/or animal dander respiratory allergies who will initiate AIT.
A list of 31 symptoms terms were extracted from the MedDRA (Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities) dictionary to harmonize the reporting of all adverse systemic reactions in this survey.
The SurveyMonkey® online instrument was used by participant doctors to submit information directly to a blinded central database.
Three questionnaires were generated: i) the Doctor Questionnaire, ii) the Patient Questionnaire and iii) the Adverse Reaction Questionnaire. A handbook and a mistake report form were given to each doctor.
In this paper, we describe the methodology followed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Opinion statement
Current asthma therapies can effectively control symptoms and the on-going inflammatory process; however, they do not affect the underlying, dysregulated immune response. Thus, they are limited to blunting the progression of the disease, which relapses on ceasing the treatment. Allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) is the only etiology-based treatment capable of disease modification. Recent evidence provided a plausible explanation for its multiple mechanisms inducing both rapid desensitization and long-term allergen-specific immune tolerance, as well as the suppression of allergic inflammation in the affected tissues. Although the current guideline documents give both subcutaneous (SCIT) and sublingual (SLIT) immunotherapy a conditional recommendation in allergic asthma due to the moderate and low quality of evidence, respectively, a growing body of evidence from double-blind, placebo-controlled studies shows that both SLIT and SCIT are effective in reducing symptom scores and medication use, improving quality of life, and inducing favorable changes in specific immunologic markers. Due to the very limited evidence from head-to-head comparative studies and variability of the end-point used in different studies, it is currently not possible to assess superiority of either route of vaccine administration.
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