Until recently, the only available treatment of peanut allergy has been strict avoidance of peanuts.
But an exciting new treatment from The New England Food Allergy Treatment Center [NEFATC] gives people a better option – and more hope.
The treatment is called Oral Immunotherapy. Its goal is to desensitize peanut allergy patients and reduce the likelihood of an allergic reaction. Patients who participate in a clinical study from the NEFATC receive oral immunotherapy treatment and have an opportunity to expand their tolerance of peanut protein
Jeffrey M. Factor MD, Medical Director of the NEFATC, is enthusiastic about using oral immunotherapy to treat peanut allergy:
We are providing a unique opportunity for the majority of peanut allergic patients to receive this exciting new treatment that has been rooted in previous clinical studies. We have demonstrated that oral immunotherapy to peanut results in substantial improvement in the quality of life of many peanut allergic patients.
An overview of Oral Immunotherapy for Peanut Allergy
Patients are initially exposed to trace amounts of peanut flour under the close supervision of physicians and nurses at the NEFATC. These trace amounts are gradually increased over several months in an effort to gradually build up immunity to peanuts. Eventually, responsive patients are able to eat the equivalent of one to three peanuts.
“Other similar foundational studies have been conducted at highly regarded institutions including Duke Medical Center, the University of Arkansas and Mount Sinai in New York,” said Dr. Factor. “We are following similar protocols for peanut desensitization and have found that treatment offers valuable rewards for our patients.”
Results of Oral Immunotherapy for Peanut Allergy
To date, the NEFATC has enrolled over 100 patients. We have demonstrated that treatment can be performed safely and effectively, even in those who have a severe allergy. No patients have experienced a severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis during treatment and no one has required epinephrine. Even more encouraging is that close to one-third of patients have reached the maintenance dose of 2-3 peanuts daily without difficulty.
How to Participate
The New England Food Allergy Treatment Center is located at 836 Farmington Avenue, Suite 138 in West Hartford, Connecticut. It is the only non-institutional, practice-based research center for treatment of food allergies of its kind. For more information on the center, visit www.nefoodallergy.org or call (860) 986-6099.