Omalizumab in the treatment of adult patients with mastocytosis: A systematic review

Clin Exp Allergy. 2020 Jun;50(6):654-661. doi: 10.1111/cea.13592. Epub 2020 Mar 25.


BACKGROUND: Mastocytosis is associated with mast cell (MC) mediator-related symptoms for which limited therapies are available. OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to assess the efficacy and safety of omalizumab in the treatment of MC mediator-related symptoms in adult patients with mastocytosis. RESULTS: We identified one multi-centre retrospective cohort study (39 patients), one retrospective cohort study (13 patients), 4 case series and 10 case reports. No published controlled randomized study was identified. We included 69 patients (13 patients with cutaneous mastocytosis and 56 with systemic mastocytosis). The mean age was 48 years. Omalizumab maintenance dose was 300 mg for the majority of patients. The mean duration of treatment was 17 months. Treatment led to a tolerability of venom immunotherapy and to a complete resolution of severe reactions in all patients with post-honeybee sting anaphylaxis. Complete resolution of idiopathic anaphylaxis episodes was noted in 84% of the patients. Complete resolution of palpitations, gastrointestinal, cutaneous, neuropsychiatric, respiratory and musculoskeletal symptoms was observed at a rate of 43%, 29%, 27%, 11%, 9% and 0%, respectively. Efficacy was maintained for the entire duration of the treatment in all but four responders. Adverse events were reported for 13 patients. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Omalizumab appears to prevent some life-threatening reactions associated with mastocytosis and may be a good option to treat the associated symptoms. However, the evidence relied upon is observational, uncontrolled and from a small number of patients. A randomized controlled trial is needed to better understand the place of omalizumab in mastocytosis treatment.

Keywords: Omalizumab; anaphylaxis; cutaneous mastocytosis; mast cells; systemic mastocytosis; venom and insect allergy.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mastocytosis / drug therapy*
  • Mastocytosis / immunology
  • Mastocytosis / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Omalizumab / therapeutic use*


  • Omalizumab