Emerging therapies for food allergy

J Clin Invest. 2014 May;124(5):1880-6. doi: 10.1172/JCI72061. Epub 2014 May 1.


Food allergy is a common condition for which there are currently no approved treatments except avoidance of the allergenic food and treatment of accidental reactions. There are several potential treatments that are under active investigation in animal and human studies, but it is not yet clear what the best approach may be. Here, we review approaches that are currently in clinical trials, including oral, sublingual, and epicutaneous immunotherapy, immunotherapy combined with anti-IgE, and Chinese herbal medicine as well as approaches that are in preclinical or early clinical investigation, including modified protein immunotherapy, adjuvants, DNA vaccines, and helminth administration. We discuss the importance of fully exploring the risks and benefits of any treatment before it is taken to general clinical practice and the need for clarity about the goals of treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use
  • Food Hypersensitivity / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Sublingual Immunotherapy / methods
  • Therapy with Helminths / methods
  • Vaccines, DNA / therapeutic use


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Vaccines, DNA