Monday, February 16, 2009

Good News from the Medical World

With all the stress, confusion, and uncertainty that comes with food allergies, wouldn’t it be great to get a little bit of good news for a change? How’s this:

Trials in mice of a Chinese herbal treatment called FAHF-2 protected peanut-allergic mice from anaphylaxis for more than eight months after the treatment stopped.

Really. Perhaps a type of vaccine is finally on the distant horizon!

Di. Xiu-Min Li, an associate professor of pediatrics and the director of the Center for Chinese Herbal Therapy for Allergy and Asthma at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and her colleagues published their findings in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology this month. Their findings reinforce previous studies showing promise for this particular drug, which has already received investigational new drug approval from the FDA. Read an article about this latest study on the Medical News Today website here.

Of course, this is great news for mice everywhere. But what’s even better is they’re conducting human trials right now at Mount Sinai to study the safety and effectiveness of FAHF-2 on even more food allergies, like tree nuts, fish, and shellfish, in addition to peanuts.

Ordinarily, it takes years and years for a new drug to go through all the testing, research, modifications, and approval process before the FDA will finally allow that new drug to become commercially available. So for most of us, even if this drug really works the way we hope it will in humans, it will be years before we will be able to take advantage of it. But even so, this news gives all of us hope for the future of food allergy treatment and prevention.

I can’t imagine how wonderful it will feel to have a medicine like this available for allergic people. Even if it meant the allergic person had a shot every month, it would be worth the peace of mind knowing that an innocent looking cookie would never again betray someone you love.

I am so grateful that there are brilliant minds out there working on this for us. As I sit here on this overcast, cold February day, it gives me a warm feeling of hope, like spring truly is on the way.

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