With an eye on the food allergy community as a unique group of consumers since 2008, we're on a quest to find and share ways to continue enjoying the good things in life.

20 February 2009

Peanut Allergy Cure Closer to Reality?

Wow. Very interesting news out of England: Peanut Allergy Cured in World First for British Children. The headline is very dramatic and certainly hopeful. We'll have to wait and see what comes of this.


Jenn Casey said...

I'm not trying to be a downer here, but I think the word "cure" in all of these headlines is very misleading. One of the articles I saw (don't know which, there were so many) quoted a researcher who said basically that this is a treatment, not a cure.

There's an ongoing study at Duke, doing the same thing (for peanuts and eggs). Search "duke peanut allergy" for a ton of links. Their results sound similar to the British study. Yay.

Both studies warn that if the kids stop taking their daily dose of peanut flour, then there are signs that allergy symptoms return--again, I think we're talking about a treatment, not a cure here.

It does sound like a promising treatment, and trust me, if my son could have some "wiggle room" and be okay with 5 or so nuts, I'd go for it!

I'm a little frustrated with the headlines though, because I think many will see the word "cure" and not delve too much further into details.

Unknown said...

Thank you! I agree with you 100%. I am concerned that 1) people might try to "cure" themselves at home (or their kids!) and 2) that these headlines will cause people to think peanut allergies are no longer an issue. Saying they're "cured" isn't accurate. I don't see many voices in the media pointing that out!

Elaine at Matters of the Heart) said...

I was thinking the same thing, that people are going to start thinking we no longer have an issue. You would not believe the amount of emails I got about this yesterday. Basically, they said look, you don't have to worry anymore...I was not as convinced. I'm also worried that these people might not take our allery seriously anymore, if they believe there is a cure.

Unknown said...

Yeah, it's concerning. Rational Jenn made a great point too about the Duke research which was so highly publicized less than a year ago!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree with prior posters. This is not something to be tried at home and it's not a cure. It's desensitization. And it's done under the supervision of medical professionals. But let's not downplay what the medical community is trying so hard to achieve for us. It's my understanding, per discussion with allergists, that this does work. However, the kinks are still being worked out. There still is a high anaphylaxis rate among the most severely allergic in these studies. But my sources are hopeful this will be available within 5 years. The key issues will be FDA approval, insurance approval, and potential opposition of Dey and other opposing interests groups.

Jenny said...

I'm happy to see any progress being made but I'm wary.

Any amount of peanut/tree nut introduced to an allergic individual is very, very risky.

I hope more work is done on this but I'm not breathing my sigh of relief any time soon.

I'm discussing immunotherapy on my Facebook group "Nut-Free Moms and Dads" if anyone cares to comment!