Food allergy is a major health problem affecting 5% to 10% of the population in developed nations, including an estimated 32 million Americans. Despite the large number of patients suffering from food allergies, up until the end of January 2020, no treatment for food allergies had been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. The only options were avoidance of food allergen triggers and acute management of allergic reactions. A considerable body of data exists supporting oral immunotherapy (OIT) as a promising, novel treatment option, including that for the now Food and Drug Administration-approved peanut OIT product Palforzia (Aimmune Therapeutics, Brisbane, Calif). However, data for long-term quality-of-life improvement with OIT varies, depending on the measures used for analysis. Like many therapies, OIT is not without potential harms, and burdens, and the evaluation of patient-specific risk-benefit ratio of food OIT produces challenges for clinicians and patients alike, with many unanswered questions. Food Allergy Research & Education organized the Oral Immunotherapy for Food Allergy Summit on November 6, 2019, modeled after the PRACTALL sessions between the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology to address these critical issues. Health care providers, patient representatives, researchers, regulators, and food allergy advocates came together to discuss OIT and identify areas of common ground as well as gaps in existing research and areas of uncertainty and disagreement. The purpose of this article was to summarize that discussion and facilitate collaboration among clinicians and patients to help them make better-informed decisions about offering and accepting OIT, respectively, as a therapeutic option.
Keywords: Food allergy Oral immunotherapy Peanut allergy