Can food allergy be cured?
At present, food allergies cannot be cured but some therapies may help in their management, significantly increasing the quality of life of the affected person.
Oral immunotherapy and peanut allergy
Oral immunotherapy is a developing experimental treatment during which gradually increasing amounts of the peanut allergen are being introduced into the allergic patient’s diet at regular intervals.
The therapy aims to adapt the immune system to the allergen, so the individual becomes less sensitive (desensitised). Nevertheless, the risk of developing severe allergic reactions during the therapy exists.
Several studies have demonstrated that the oral immunotherapy effectively led to desensitisation, but also significantly increased frequency of allergic and anaphylactic reactions in patients with peanut allergy. Therefore the therapy has not been approved yet.
There is a lot of hope for therapies of desensitising patients. They can potentially lead to improved management of food allergy and increase the quality of life of the patients.
However, ongoing studies are needed to ensure efficacy and safety of such therapies. Unfortunately, these therapies will not cure a food allergy.
- Chu, D.K., Wood, R.A., French, S. et al. (2019) Oral immunotherapy for peanut allergy (PACE): a systematic review and meta-analysis of efficacy and safety
- Sampson, H.A., Aceves,S., Bock, S.A. et al. (2014) Food allergy: A practice parameter update—2014