Findings from an early peanut immunotherapy trial

Tomohiro Utsunomiya and Motohiro Ebisawa

in Landmark Papers in Allergy

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199651559
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754241 | DOI:

Series: Landmark Papers

Findings from an early peanut immunotherapy trial

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  • Public Health and Epidemiology
  • Immunology
  • Respiratory Medicine and Pulmonology


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Peanut and peanut products are a common food in the diet. Peanuts are also one of the most common foods responsible for food-induced anaphylaxis. Patients rarely lose sensitivity to peanuts. Although the ideal treatment is avoidance, this is often not possible because of hidden exposures; therefore, a more effective treatment is needed. Subjects with confirmed peanut allergy were treated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study with peanut immunotherapy or placebo. Objective measures of efficacy included changes in symptom score during double-blind placebo-controlled peanut challenge (DBPCPC) and titrated end point prick skin tests (PST). Three subjects treated with peanut immunotherapy completed the study. These subjects displayed a 67% to 100% decrease in symptoms induced by DBPCPC. Subjects also had a 2- to 5-log reduction in end point PST reactivity to peanut extract. One placebo-treated subject completed the study. This subject had essentially no change in DBPCPC symptom scores or PST sensitivity to peanut. Two other placebo-treated subjects underwent a second PST session. These subjects had a 1- to 2-log increase in skin test sensitivity to peanut. All peanut-treated subjects were able to reach maintenance dose, and in no case did an anaphylactic reaction occur secondary to the peanut immunotherapy. The current study provides preliminary data demonstrating the efficacy of injection therapy with peanut extract and provides a future line of clinical investigation for the treatment of this potentially lethal disease. It should be noted, however, that the rate of systemic reactions with rush immunotherapy was 13.3%. Thus, at the present time, this therapy should only be considered investigational and done only in research settings with intensive care unit support immediately available.

Chapter.  1179 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology ; Immunology ; Respiratory Medicine and Pulmonology

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