WCBS-TV - "Dr. Max Gomez: Peanut Allergy Patch Study Underway At Centers Across U.S."

 – February 7, 2014  –– 

Peanut allergies are one of the most common food allergies and can cause deadly allergic reactions. Doctors have tried oral therapies and allergy shots, with only moderate success. But, researchers are experimenting with a promising new peanut patch. Joshua Mandelbaum is an 8-year-old with a peanut allergy. It’s so severe that if he touches peanuts he could die. To try to reduce his allergy, Joshua’s mother enrolled him in a study that’s testing a new patch containing peanut protein. Joshua has to wear it every day for at least the next two and a half years. Researchers want to know if low-level repeated exposure to peanuts can actually desensitize children. “This protein gets into the outer layer of the skin, is taken up by specialized cells that then take it to the inner parts of the immune system,” said Dr. Hugh Sampson of The Mount Sinai Hospital. Dr. Sampson said the idea is like allergy shots, only more gradual and without needles. The goal is to teach the child’s immune system not to overreact to peanuts. Learn more