By Amy Norton
THURSDAY, May 11, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- A "peanut patch" worn connected nan tegument whitethorn thief protect toddlers who person perchance life-threatening peanut allergies, a caller objective proceedings shows.
The spot is simply a shape of immunotherapy, which intends it exposes peanut-allergic children to mini bits of peanut macromolecule complete clip -- pinch nan extremity of training nan immune strategy to amended tolerate it.
In nan trial, researchers recovered that of toddlers who wore nan peanut spot each time for a year, two-thirds showed a important simplification successful their sensitivity to peanut protein: They were capable to eat nan balanced of 1 to 4 peanuts without suffering an allergic reaction.
While that mightiness sound for illustration peanuts, experts said that level of tolerance is important.
The extremity of immunotherapy is to forestall a terrible guidance should a kid accidentally ingest a mini magnitude of peanut, said Dr. Alkis Togias, of nan U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
"This is simply a affirmative study," said Togias, who wrote an editorial published pinch nan findings connected May 10 successful nan New England Journal of Medicine.
The spot tested successful nan trial, called Viaskin, is being developed by French biotech institution DVB Technologies, which funded nan research. It is not yet approved by nan U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
If it does triumph approval, Togias said, "I deliberation that would only beryllium a bully thing."
An estimated 2% of U.S. children are allergic to peanuts, and for astir nan allergy continues into adulthood. That makes it nan astir communal nutrient allergy among kids, and nan third-most communal among adults, according to nan nonprofit Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE).
People pinch peanut allergy tin suffer reactions, sometimes severe, from ingesting moreover a mini magnitude of nan nutrient -- nan quantities that are commonly lurking successful processed aliases prepared foods. So they (or their parents) person to studiously publication nutrient labels and return different precautions to debar peanut exposure.
But that's not easy, Togias said, and accidents happen.
As acold arsenic treatment, location is an oral shape of immunotherapy approved by nan U.S. Food and Drug Administration for peanut allergy, called Palforzia. It's a peanut flour merchandise that tin beryllium mixed into food, for illustration applesauce. But it's only approved for children ages 4 and older.
"There are presently nary FDA-approved curen options for toddlers nether 4 years old," said Dr. Matthew Greenhawt, nan lead interrogator connected nan caller trial.
Oral immunotherapy is nether study for toddlers pinch peanut allergy. But Greenhawt said it's ever bully to person aggregate options connected nan table.
"What useful for 1 family whitethorn not activity for another," he said.
Plus, nan spot attack whitethorn person less broadside effects, according to Greenhawt, a professor of pediatrics astatine Children's Hospital Colorado/University of Colorado School of Medicine.
The patch, he said, "takes advantage" of nan truth that nan tegument is nan body's largest immune strategy organ. That intends a smaller dose of peanut macromolecule tin beryllium used, helping to skirt nan systemic broadside effects sometimes caused by oral immunotherapy -- specified arsenic upset stomach, pharynx irritation and shortness of breath.
Those types of problems seldom originate pinch nan patch, said Greenhawt, who besides serves arsenic a aesculapian advisor to DBV Technologies.
The proceedings progressive 362 toddlers, ages 1 to 3, who were randomly assigned to deterioration either nan peanut spot aliases a placebo (inactive) spot each time for a year. Overall, 67% of children connected nan existent curen met nan trial's extremity goal: Their immune tolerance was built up to nan constituent that they could ingest nan balanced of 1 to 4 peanuts without an allergic reaction.
That compared pinch 33% of children successful nan placebo group.
Skin rash was nan astir communal broadside effect pinch nan peanut patch, while conscionable nether 2% of toddlers developed systemic symptoms that were judged "mild to moderate."
How would that stack up against peanut powder?
It's difficult to judge, Togias said, because nary proceedings has compared nan approaches caput to head.
But he pointed to a proceedings published past twelvemonth that tested oral immunotherapy for 1- to 3-year-olds pinch peanut allergy. The findings, Togias said, propose that nan oral attack whitethorn person stronger effects successful desensitizing nan immune system.
On nan different hand, he added, nan tegument spot whitethorn beryllium safer.
One bigger-picture mobility astir immunotherapy for peanut allergy, Togias said, is whether location is simply a constituent astatine which it tin beryllium stopped. Palforzia is taken each time indefinitely, to support nan immune system's tolerance for peanut.
Greenhawt said nan peanut spot is besides designed for regular use, and tests truthful acold (including 1 of older children) person followed patients for up to 3 years of use.
Jennifer Bufford, vice president of objective operations astatine FARE, agreed that having aggregate types of immunotherapy would beryllium bully for families.
Bufford besides noted that galore group pinch peanut allergy are allergic to different foods, too. "It will beryllium absorbing to spot if epicutaneous [via nan skin] desensitization tin beryllium achieved for different communal nutrient allergens," she said.
While location is affirmative news connected nan curen front, Togias stressed different point: Peanut allergies tin besides beryllium prevented, by introducing peanut products into babies' diets erstwhile they commencement connected coagulated foods.
FARE has much connected peanut allergy.
SOURCES: Matthew Greenhawt, MD, MBA, MSc, professor, pediatrics, conception of allergy and immunology, Children's Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora; Alkis Togias, MD, branch chief, allergy, asthma and airway biology branch, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Md.; Jennifer Bufford, MS, vice president, objective operations, Food Allergy Research and Education, McLean, Va.; New England Journal of Medicine, May 11, 2023