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BioDrugs. 2007;21(6):403-10.

The role of anti-IgE therapy in combination with allergen specific immunotherapy for seasonal allergic rhinitis.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Pneumology and Immunology, Charité University Medicine, Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

Novel therapies that interfere specifically with immunologic mechanisms underlying allergen-induced pathology are currently in clinical evaluation. Among these is anti-IgE, which directly targets IgE serum antibodies, thus inhibiting the central mechanism of immediate-type hypersensitivity reactions. Application of anti-IgE antibodies effectively reduces IgE serum levels regardless of allergen specificity. Anti-IgE therapy has been successfully tested in patients with allergic rhinitis, asthma, and food allergy, showing significant efficacy in reducing symptom scores and the use of rescue medications. However, such therapy is limited by high costs and the requirements for permanent or every-season treatment. The advantage of specific immunotherapy (SIT) is the potential to alter the course of the disease, which has been demonstrated in patients with allergic rhinitis, insect venom allergy and, to a lesser degree, asthma. The broader application of SIT is restricted by sometimes life-threatening adverse effects. The combination of anti-IgE with SIT was suggested to be superior to each single treatment protocol in children and adolescents with allergic rhinitis. In a randomized, double-blind trial to assess the efficacy and safety of anti-IgE (omalizumab) or placebo in combination with SIT (birch pollen or grass pollen), the combination therapy reduced symptom load, the sum of daily symptom severity score plus rescue medication use, over the birch and grass pollen seasons by nearly 50% over SIT alone. These data show that the combination of anti-IgE plus SIT may be beneficial for the treatment of allergic diseases, offering improved efficacy, limited adverse effects, and potential immune-modifying effects.

PMID:
18020623
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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