What is allergy immunotherapy? Allergy immunotherapy is a causal treatment targeting the underlying allergic disease, affecting basic immunological mechanisms and resulting in the induction of immunological tolerance. Induced tolerance implies disease modification, the clinical effects of which are sustained symptom relief after completed treatment and/or prevention of disease progression. The latter includes impeded aggravation of existing symptoms, preventing the development of asthma in children with allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and, potentially, also preventing supervening new allergies.
Allergy immunotherapy can be used for many diseases: dust mite allergy, ashma allergy, food allergy, cat allergy, dog allergy, in ways like allergy shots, allergy drops or allergy tablets.
Allergy immunotherapy remains underused because of a lack of awareness, limited access to specialist care, the reimbursement policy, long duration, and concerns regarding safety and effectiveness. The major barrier for the further development of allergy immunotherapy, especially for the new technologies, is the capacity to perform 1 or more phase 3 confirmatory double-blind, placebo-controlled trials per allergen source.
Jutel M et al. International consensus on allergy immunotherapy[J]. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2015, 136(3): 556-568.