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Allergen immunotherapy: Present and future

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In this article the present and future of immunotherapy is discussed under four general headings: (1) present understanding of mechanisms of immunotherapy, (2) present status of clinical efficacy of immunotherapy, (3) changes/challenges of immunotherapy on the horizon, and (4) future of immunotherapy. The mechanisms of immunotherapy are well delineated and show that immunotherapy alters the natural course of allergic disease. There is a reduction in inflammation, nonspecific hyperresponsiveness, prevention of new sensitivities, and progression of allergic rhinitis to asthma. Further efficacy continues after cessation of immunotherapy. Complete asthma control does not occur with pharmacotherapy. There is a need to recognize that adding treatment for asthma's allergic component with immunotherapy may be the solution to achieving the unmet goals of asthma therapy. There are new developments and challenges to the role of immunotherapy on the horizon but, at present, subcutaneous immunotherapy is the specific allergen treatment of choice in the United States.


Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of Allergy, St. Luke's–Roosevelt Hospital, New York, New York

Publication date: January 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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