Hair-of-the-dog skin patch could help peanut allergy children
A skin patch may help children allergic to peanuts by delivering small doses of its protein, according to a new US study which is urging more research into the therapy.
The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, found that nearly half of those treated with the Viaskin Peanut patch for one year were able to consume at least 10 times more peanut protein than they were able to before treatment.
The biggest benefit came for those aged from four to 11. Participants over 12 did not see as much of an effect, the study found.
The therapy works by training the immune system to tolerate small amounts of peanuts, said Dr Daniel Rotrosen of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, which is funding the clinical trial.
"Other recent advances have relied on an oral route that appears difficult for approximately 10 to 15% of children and adults to tolerate," Dr Rotrosen said.
While the trial found the immunotherapy treatment to be "potentially effective", it warned that the study was limited.
Further investigation was needed to find out if "the modest clinical changes noted will be enhanced after a longer duration of therapy", the study said.
Those long-term results should be available in the future because the trial is continuing.
The Viaskin Peanut patch has not been approved by America's Food and Drug Administration.