The most common monoclonal antibodies, such as omalizumab, have been humanized after having been removed from mouse models. Although the mouse genetic material has been removed, some investigators are exploring ways to bypass the mouse model and therefore reduce the potential for allergic reactions in susceptible individuals, according to Dr. Haydon.
Explore This IssueMarch 2009
There is a lot of evidence-based data on the treatment of allergic disease, said panelist Douglas E. Dawson, MD, MS, an otolaryngologist in private practice in Muscatine, IA. In this seminar we wanted to look at new approaches in allergy and present the evidence-based medicine focused on these approaches, he said in a phone interview.
He said the seminar was timely because several aspects of allergy and immunology research have recently been subjected to evidence ranking. In addition to advances in allergy treatment, Dr. Dawson noted the progress in immunology, as presented in the seminar by Dr. McMains.
In his presentation, Dr. McMains noted that the vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV) (Gardasil) has been proven effective and is now approved as a prevention against HPV, strains of which are a major risk factor for cervical cancer. Interestingly, though, the vaccine approach has been disappointing against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
The seminar was a reminder that not all evidence is created equal, Dr. Dawson said. The criteria of ranking evidence can help otolaryngologists in the management of allergy because we now have very specific recommendations for treating patients with immunotherapy. When subjected to evidence ranking in a meta-analysis funded by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the evidence in favor of allergy immunotherapy received the highest possible grading. The study provided a foundation for the Second Update of the Practice Parameter for Allergen Immunotherapy (2003, 2007, respectively).
The evidence-based model can be used to educate patients so that they can more astutely assess information that they encounter regarding allergies, particularly in the area of complementary and alternative medicine, Dr. Dawson said. You can help patients gauge the quality of the information, he said. He noted that guidelines give the patient concrete evidence that can help them be players in treatment decisions. They can then be more confident that their medication has been proven to have a good chance of helping them.
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