Can Allergen Immunotherapy "Cure" Asthma?

Allergen immunotherapy was introduced by Leonard Noon 100 years ago and is the only disease-modifying treatment for allergic individuals (Allergy, 2012). Allergen immunotherapy targets Th2 cells activated by specific allergens.

Immunotherapy results in systemic immunological changes to allergens:

- attenuates T-cell-mediated airway inflammation by down-modulating Th2 and inducing Th1 differentiation

- induces regulatory T cells, which produce IL-10

Immunotherapy improves clinical symptoms and non-specific airway hyperresponsiveness in asthma, and decreases drug requirements.

Current pharmacotherapy, including inhalational corticosteroids, provides powerful symptomatic benefits in asthma. However, pharmacotherapy cannot cure or modify the natural course of asthma.

As immunotherapy targets the background immunological state in asthma, it is expected to lead to long-term amelioration or even cure.

References:

Allergen Immunotherapy in Asthma: Current Status and Future Perspectives. Nagata M, Nakagome K. Allergol Int. 2010 Feb 25;59(1).

Immunotherapy can reduce asthma symptoms and it is possibly as effective as inhaled steroids - Cochrane, 2010.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12/10/2012

    My son's asthma was "cured" by taking a few drops of dustmite extract, everyday for 3 years. Now, you'd never know he used to be a regular visitor to the emergency dept. He's quite normal now, no more blue and brown inhalers...and he plays sports just like everyone else now.

    Is this the same as the injections?

    ReplyDelete

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