A great podcast coming soon, and Chinese herbal allergy info

March 14, 2006 at 6:08 am (Allergy News Podcast. Listen free., Allergy News!)

Had a great conversation with Laura Duke last night via gizmoproject.  I’ve started editing it–I think it will be in two segments, and I think you’ll enjoy it or learn a lot!

Herbal formula silences peanut allergy in mice

Wed Mar 8, 2006 12:32 PM ET

By Megan Rauscher

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Treatment of peanut allergic mice with the Chinese herbal formula known as FAHF-2 completely blocks peanut-induced allergic reactions for up to 6 months following therapy and full protection is restored following a second course of FAHF-2, investigators report.

These observations, if reproducible in humans, suggest that this Chinese herbal formula may be a highly effective treatment for peanut allergy, study investigators say. The findings were presented Tuesday in Miami at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s annual meeting.

Following treatment with FAHF-2 for 7 weeks, peanut-allergic mice were completely protected against peanut-induced reactions following oral challenges administered up to 34 weeks after treatment, lead investigator Dr. Kamal D. Srivastava from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York reported.

Subsequent challenges at week 40 and 50 showed “only modest declines” in protection, the team reports, with 1 in 10 mice reacting to peanut challenge at week 40 and 3 in 10 at week 50.

Full protection was restored with re-treatment with FAHF-2; no mouse reacted to oral peanut challenge administered at week 66.

“This is a significant finding in terms of the duration of protection with a single course of treatment that can be taken orally, making it an effective and convenient treatment that can be administered at home,” Srivastava told Reuters Health.

The research team is working to identify the bioactive compounds present in the formula.

How FAHF-2 works remains unclear. Preliminary work indicates that FAHF-2 may target multiple cell types known to be involved in allergic reactions.

FAHF-2 also appears to stimulate T cells to produce more interferon-gamma, a cytokine that is known to curb allergic responses. “There maybe other effects and more work needs to be done,” Srivastava acknowledged.

“Another priority,” said Srivastava, “is to optimize the treatment course for human clinical trials and we look forward to submitting an IND (Investigational New Drug application) to the FDA in the near future.”

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