Read the latest news from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine’s Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Immunology. The links below take you to articles where you can learn more about our faculty’s latest achievements, awards, and honors.
A drug originally designed for chemotherapy successfully suppressed allergic responses to food allergens, according to a Northwestern Medicine study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
The drug, ibrutinib, interrupted the process that causes the body’s cells to react to food allergens such as peanuts or shellfish, showing potential for reducing the severity and risk of allergic reactions, according to lead author Melanie Dispenza, MD, PhD, third-year fellow in the Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Program.
“This drug is reasonably safe and it effectively blocks allergic responses in cells,” said Bruce Bochner, MD, the Samuel M. Feinberg Professor of Medicine in the Division of Allergy and Immunology, who was senior author of the study.
Anne M. Ditto, MD, a professor of allergy and immunology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, sat with MD Magazine to discuss the current state of therapies for the differing phenotypes of patients with asthma that exist. She also discussed therapies in the pipeline that could and will be used to treat these patients in the future.
- New research has found that almost half of people diagnosed with food allergies developed this condition in adulthood, with Hispanic, Asian, and black individuals most at risk.
- On Tuesday, Nationals manager Dusty Baker said ace Stephen Strasburg wouldn’t start because the pitcher was under the weather, citing the change in climate, the hotel air conditioning and Chicago mold. On Wednesday, Baker changed his story and started Strasburg against the Cubs in Game 4 of the National League Division Series.
- Wilson Kimball was 40 years old when she found herself in the emergency room vomiting and suffering a severe migraine. Doctors were unable to pinpoint the cause, so after several days of testing, they released Kimball. On the way home, she stopped at her favorite deli and ordered tuna salad, made the Italian way with oil and vinegar instead of mayonnaise. The vomiting immediately returned, but this time Kimball was able to help doctors figure out the culprit: An allergy to the mold in vinegar.
In medicine, doctors sometimes find unexpected applications for certain drugs.
Case in point: Ibrutinib, a drug that was recently approved by the FDA for people with leukemia and lymphoma, is effective at stopping reactions to common airborne allergens.
A team from Northwestern University headed by Dr. Bruce Bochner, the Samuel M. Feinberg Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, published its findings in last month’s Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
The findings have implications for people with food allergies and airborne allergies, but there is still a long way to go, according to Bochner.
For her daughter's sake, Dr. Ruchi Gupta would love to have a "safe" peanut.
The director of the Food Allergy Outcomes Research Program at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, and all those connected to the 2.8 million peanut-allergy sufferers in the U.S., might get that wish in the not- too-distant future. Moreover, while the number of those with the allergy that can turn deadly in seconds has doubled in the last two decades, researchers are learning how to lessen the problem in children or keep them from developing it in the first place.
Ways to deal with your allergies
It's allergy season. Hooray, said no one ever.
Dr. Bradley Sabin of Northwestern Medicine in Chicago said he advocates three things to his allergy patients:
- Allergy avoidance
- Allergy medications
- Allergy immunotherapy
- According to the World Allergy Organization (WAO) there is hope for those who suffer from chronic urticaria to improve quality of life. From April 2-8 WAO and allergy/clinical immunology societies around the world that are members of the organization are offering educational events and distributing information about the disease as part of World Allergy Week.
Infants as young as 4 months old should be introduced to peanut-containing foods to prevent the development of peanut allergies, according to new guidelines from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“It’s an important issue for lots of parents. They don’t want their kids developing a food allergy,” said Dr. Ruchi Gupta, who helped develop the guidelines and is an attending physician at Lurie Children’s Hospital specializing in asthma, food allergies and eczema.