Steroid-sparing effect of omalizumab for allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis and cystic fibrosis

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2008 Jun;43(6):607-10. doi: 10.1002/ppul.20804.


Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is a complication commonly encountered in patients with CF that produces significant respiratory morbidity. Chronic airway colonization with Aspergillus induces strong inflammatory responses with high IgE levels. Current guidelines for therapy include prolonged courses of systemic corticosteroids as the main therapeutic strategy. However this has the potential to induce significant detrimental side effects in children. Omalizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody directed against IgE that prevents its binding to high- and low-affinity receptors on effector cells. It has been shown to be effective in improving asthma control in patients with a strong allergic component. We present our long term experience with the use of Anti-IgE therapy in three children with CF and ABPA (mean age at start of therapy 14.2 years) who were steroid dependent. All three were already experiencing significant side effects from chronic steroid therapy. After the start of Omalizumab these children have experienced significant and sustained clinical improvements at the same time that they were discontinued from chronic systemic steroids. Our experience suggests that IgE blockade has tremendous potential as a strategy to control this disease in steroid dependent patients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Allergic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Aspergillosis, Allergic Bronchopulmonary / complications
  • Aspergillosis, Allergic Bronchopulmonary / drug therapy*
  • Aspergillosis, Allergic Bronchopulmonary / microbiology
  • Aspergillus fumigatus / isolation & purification
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications
  • Cystic Fibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage*
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Omalizumab
  • Prednisone / administration & dosage*
  • Prednisone / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Allergic Agents
  • Antibodies, Anti-Idiotypic
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Omalizumab
  • Prednisone