A New Treatment Combo for Kids With Food Allergies
Kids with multiple food allergies may soon have a more effective treatment option. A small, phase 2 clinical trial suggests combining Xolair (omalizumab), which is used to treat moderate-to-severe asthma, with oral immunotherapy significantly improves treatment results in these children. About 30 percent of people with food allergies are allergic to more than one food.
The clinical trial involved 48 children between 4 to 15 with confirmed allergies to multiple foods, including milk, egg, wheat, soy, sesame seeds, peanut, or tree nuts. Study participants were randomly assigned to receive Xolair or placebo injections for 16 weeks. At week eight, all participants began receiving daily oral immunotherapy. This investigational treatment also involved eating small, gradually increasing, amounts of an allergic food. At 36 weeks, study participants underwent a food challenge. According to researchers, 83 percent of children who received Xolair and the oral immunotherapy were able to eat at least 2 grams of two or more allergic foods in the challenge. Only 33 percent of those who received a placebo were able to do so.
The study was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and conducted by researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California. The results were published in The Lancet.