Current and Emerging Immunotherapeutic Approaches to Treat and Prevent Peanut Allergy

Darren S Miller; Michael P Brown; Paul M Howley; John D Hayball


Expert Rev Vaccines. 2012;11(12):1471-1481. 

In This Article

Five-year View

The incidence of peanut allergy has increased significantly over the previous decade and it therefore should be expected that the incidence will remain at current levels or higher. One key issue regarding peanut allergy is whether exposure to peanuts early in life increases or reduces the incidence of allergy. More definitive answers are anticipated following completion of the LEAP trial in 2014, which should provide medical practitioners and nutritionist's solid data for recommendations on management and prevention of peanut allergy.

Although only in early stages of development, peptide immunotherapy has the potential to provide patients with a simple but highly targeted approach toward modulating the immune responses to peanut allergy. The results of coming clinical trials are eagerly awaited and if successful will surely drive the impetus for continued mapping and identification of the major allergenic epitopes of the other peanut allergens.

Finally, the newer immunotherapeutic modalities including epicutaneous immunotherapy and in particular Chinese herbal preparations have shown promising preclinical and Phase I safety data. If similar safety and efficacy profiles of these treatments are successful in larger cohorts of peanut allergic individuals, the use of them either alone or in combination with traditional oral immunotherapy could represent a major paradigm shift in current treatment schedules.