The study carried out by researchers from the Centre for Plant Biotechnology and Genomics (CBGP-UPM-INIA) along with the Allergy Department of the Hospital Infantil Universitario Niño Jesús of Madrid have shown that, most of the children that received this new oral immunotherapy treatment were able to eat 100 grams of wheat bread without side effects. This result has overcome the risk of accidental ingestion by patients with this allergy. This research could be the basis for large clinical trials with more patients with the aim of assessing the therapeutic benefit of this new approach.
Wheat is one of the most frequent childhood food allergies (about the 35% at the age of 12). A common treatment of this disease is avoiding eating wheat products, although this can mean a nutritional imbalance for children. Besides, it is hard to avoid eating wheat products since it is present in many food products and in spite of the warnings on the labels, many accidents can occur. This situation makes parents to be on alert and forbid their allergic kids to eat any food without supervision. Thus, it is important to find new treatments that induce tolerance to this food.
The collaboration between researchers from CBGP (UPM-INIA) and the Allergy Department of the Hospital Infantil Universitario Niño Jesús of Madrid came up in this context with the aim of finding new treatments for this allergy.
The new treatment was applied to six children allergic to wheat. These children underwent oral immunotherapy consisting of dispensing increasing doses of wheat. Five of the studied children successfully finished the treatment after 24 days, and all the patients had tolerance to 100 grams of daily wheat after six months. Using this approach, most of these children undergoing oral immunotherapy were able to eat 100 grams of wheat bread at the end of the process. Therefore, they can eat wheat and derived products overcoming the risk of accidental ingestion.
The obtained results could be the basis for large clinical trials with more patients with the aim of assessing the therapeutic benefit of this new approach.