Food allergy is caused by immune reactions to ingestion of specific foods. Severe cases may result in loss of consciousness, anaphylactic shock, or death. Patients and their families must be constantly vigilant against inadvertent exposure to allergenic food. In Israel alone, recent food allergy reactions have led to four deaths and many life-threatening episodes. Food allergy also restricts dietary and lifestyle options for patients, and can be strongly disruptive to their daily function.
OIT is a novel treatment for food allergy involving incremental food dose escalation, increasing the amount of allergenic food that can be tolerated by the patient. OIT at AHMC is a personalized therapy, with the goal of complete or partial desensitization. Currently, OIT is available for patients four years and older, for treatment of allergies to milk, peanuts, eggs and sesame. The program is internationally-regarded, advancing clinical and research progress in the field.
Greater than 65% of our 800 patients treated by OIT have achieved full desensitization and an additional 20%, partial desensitization. Benefits include the elimination of life-threatening reactions, and increased dietary options for better nutrition. Further research will facilitate the expansion of OIT programs to include other foods and optimized treatment methods. Immunological parameters will be sought to better monitor progress and predict successful outcomes during OIT.
This project has provided additional documentation in a DOCX file (projdoc.docx).
Relevant research articles from Assaf HaRofeh
Food allergy symptoms, diagnosis and treatment