Peanut allergy was in the news again recently, due to a study out of Australia using a treatment that combined probiotics with oral immunotherapy. The study offers some promising results, as 80 percent of the enrolled children could tolerate eating peanut by the end of the clinical trial. At the same time, 45 percent experienced an allergic reaction, which according to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) is similar to other studies using oral immunotherapy. If you didn’t see all the media coverage, here are a few links to get you up to speed:
- New Study: Combining Probiotics with Oral Immunotherapy for Peanut Allergy – The FARE Blog
- Headline hyperbole – probiotics cure peanut allergy? – Food Allergy Sleuth
- Didn’t You Hear? There Is a ‘Cure’ for Peanut Allergies – Lianne Mandelbaum via Huffington Post
When I posted an article about this Australian study on Facebook, someone asked if I knew of any similar clinical trials being conducted in Switzerland. To address this question, I contacted a pediatric allergist working in Geneva via email. He wrote to confirm that no such study is currently being conducted here.
This inquiry made me curious about other food allergy clinical trials in Switzerland, and the pediatric allergist I contacted recommended an online database that’s maintained by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH): ClinicalTrials.gov. When I searched the database, I found three relevant studies that are currently open and recruiting participants. You can click the links in the table below for more information about each individual study.
Food Allergy Clinical Trials Currently Recruiting Participants in Switzerland
|Study title||Sponsor||Types of allergens||Estimated completion date||Eligible ages|
|Molecular Analysis of IgE Antibodies in Walnut Allergic Patients||University of Zurich||Walnut||November
|1 year to 70 years|
|Integrated Approaches to Food Allergen and Allergy Risk Management||University of Zurich||Peanut, hazelnut, walnut or celeriac||February
|5 years and older|
|Tree Nuts Allergies: Does a Single Nut Allergy Necessitate the Dietary Eviction of Other Tree Nuts?||University Hospital, Geneva||Peanut and tree nuts||January
|12 months to 16 years|
Source: Search results obtained on February 16, 2015 from ClinicalTrials.gov for Switzerland when the condition entered was “food allergy.”
- For some helpful background information on clinical trials, check out the Frequently Asked Questions prepared by FARE.
- In the United States, Vanderbilt University maintains ResearchMatch, an online patient registry. FARE and NIH worked together and used ResearchMatch to create a special food allergy sub-registry for patients interested in volunteering for clinical trials.
Have you ever participated in a food allergy clinical trial? If you have any experience or advice to share, please leave a comment below. Many thanks!