Hundreds of allergists, allied health professionals, industry representatives and patient advocates headed to Atlanta Nov. 6-11 for the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (ACAAI). Titled “Faces and Facets of Allergy & Immunology,” the meeting featured presentations by a number of FARE medical advisors and FARE-funded investigators.
Among the highlights: The Nov. 11 plenary session, “A New Era in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Food Allergies,” focused on the latest diagnostic techniques and treatments that are in development, including oral and sublingual immunotherapy, heat-denatured proteins (baked milk and egg), epicutaneous therapy (the “peanut patch”) and vaccines. Presenters included Drs. A. Wesley Burks (University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill) and Hugh Sampson (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, N.Y.), chairs of FARE’s Research and Medical Advisory Boards, respectively; and Dr. Robert Wood (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore), a FARE Medical Advisory Board member.
At a poster session on Nov. 9, researchers shared the preliminary results of food allergy studies that have not yet been published in peer-reviewed medical journals. Ruchi Gupta, MD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago), a FARE Medical Advisory Board member, presented data from an international survey of patients’ knowledge of and attitudes toward allergen thresholds (the lowest amount of an allergen in a food product that provokes a food allergy reaction in an individual). As noted in the poster, the survey format was adapted from a FARE survey of U.S. patients, which was conducted at the request of the FDA. FARE receives credit as a co-author and as one of several patient organizations from around the world that provided funding for this project. Finally, attendees visited FARE’s booth in the exhibit hall, where they were able to learn about the many programs and materials available to them and their patients.
ACAAI published several press releases on studies presented at the meeting, along with an infographic on “surprising finds” from these presentations. Studies focusing on food allergy included:
- Emergency Supplies of Epinephrine Save Lives – Results of a study on the use of “stock epinephrine” in Chicago schools. Additional information about this study was recently published on FARE’s blog.
- Best Treatment for Allergic Conditions? Some Doctors Don’t Even Know – This study reveals gaps in internists’ and pediatricians’ knowledge of allergy treatment, underscoring the need for more professional education and for patients to see a board-certified allergist.
- Orange is Not the New Black: Just Highly Allergenic for One Toddler – This case study is the first report of an anaphylactic reaction to eating an orange – a rare food allergy at any age – in a toddler, who also was diagnosed as having asthma.
For more information about FARE-funded food allergy research, visit http://www.foodallergy.org/research.