Single Treatment Could Eliminate Severe Allergies

A simple injection that gives life-long protection from severe food allergies could be just 10 years away.
Immunology researchers at the University of Queensland have successfully used gene therapy in animals to wipe the immune ‘memory’ of cells that react to the protein in allergens.
Team leader, Associate Professor Ray Steptoe said these immune cells, known as T-cells become very resistant to treatments, but gene therapy desensitises the immune system so it tolerates the protein.
While the research has focused on an experimental asthma allergen, Dr Steptoe believes it could be used to treat people who have severe allergies to peanuts, bee venom, shellfish and other substances.
This ground-breaking research has been funded by the Asthma Foundation and the National Health and Medical Research Council.
Dr Steptoe said the next step is to work on replicating the results using human cells in the laboratory.
Once that is achieved, a safe and simple gene therapy injection for people with potentially lethal food allergies could be available in a decade.

Hear Grace interview Professor Ray Steptoe;

‎Associate Professor Ray Steptoe

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