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      Critical appraisal of Timothy grass pollen extract GRAZAX ® in the management of allergic rhinitis

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          Abstract

          Allergic rhinitis is one of the most common diseases of adult and pediatric age, associated with grass pollen (GP) allergy in >50% cases, with a consistent impact on quality of life of affected patients. A grass allergen tablet, containing standardized extract derived from Timothy grass ( Phleum pratense) pollen and ~15 μg major allergen P. pratense (rPhl p 5), may be the future of allergen-specific immunotherapy (IT) for GP allergy. The aim of this review was to critically evaluate the role of Timothy GP extract IT for the management of allergic rhinitis. For this purpose, we have tried to analyze potential mechanisms of action at the basis of Timothy GP extract, we have reviewed efficacy studies to establish potential benefits and clinical response, and we have also evaluated safety and tolerability profiles and patient focus perspective, such as quality of life, satisfaction and acceptability, and compliance to this IT.

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          Most cited references 87

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          Long-term clinical efficacy of grass-pollen immunotherapy.

          Pollen immunotherapy is effective in selected patients with IgE-mediated seasonal allergic rhinitis, although it is questionable whether there is long-term benefit after the discontinuation of treatment. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the discontinuation of immunotherapy for grass-pollen allergy in patients in whom three to four years of this treatment had previously been shown to be effective. During the three years of this trial, primary outcome measures were scores for seasonal symptoms and the use of rescue medication. Objective measures included the immediate conjunctival response and the immediate and late skin responses to allergen challenge. Cutaneous-biopsy specimens obtained 24 hours after intradermal allergen challenge were examined for T-cell infiltration and the presence of cytokine-producing T helper cells (TH2 cells) (as evidenced by the presence of interleukin-4 messenger RNA). A matched group of patients with hay fever who had not received immunotherapy was followed as a control for the natural course of the disease. Scores for seasonal symptoms and the use of rescue antiallergic medication, which included short courses of prednisolone, remained low after the discontinuation of immunotherapy, and there was no significant difference between patients who continued immunotherapy and those who discontinued it. Symptom scores in both treatment groups (median areas under the curve in 1995, 921 for continuation of immunotherapy and 504 for discontinuation of immunotherapy; P=0.60) were markedly lower than those in the group that had not received immunotherapy (median value in 1995, 2863). Although there was a tendency for immediate sensitivity to allergen to return late after discontinuation, there was a sustained reduction in the late skin response and associated CD3+ T-cell infiltration and interleukin-4 messenger RNA expression. Immunotherapy for grass-pollen allergy for three to four years induces prolonged clinical remission accompanied by a persistent alteration in immunologic reactivity.
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            Relation of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T-cell suppression of allergen-driven T-cell activation to atopic status and expression of allergic disease.

            Allergic diseases are frequent and rising in prevalence, and result from activation of T-helper (Th) 2 cells by allergens. CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells suppress T-cell activation in vitro and prevent pathological findings in animal models of disease. We aimed to investigate whether the amount of inhibition of allergic responses by CD4+CD25+ T cells was related to atopy and allergic disease. Blood CD4+CD25+ and CD4+CD25- T cells were isolated from three groups of donors: non-atopic individuals; those atopic with no present symptoms; and patients with hayfever studied during and out of the grass-pollen season. We investigated the ability of CD25+ T cells from these donors to suppress allergen-stimulated T-cell proliferation and cytokine production in vitro. CD4+CD25+ T cells from non-atopic donors suppressed proliferation and interleukin 5 production by their own allergen-stimulated CD4+CD25- T cells. Inhibition of proliferation by CD4+CD25+ T cells from atopic donors was significantly reduced (p=0.0012), and was even more diminished by CD4+CD25+ T cells isolated from patients with hayfever during the pollen season (p=0.0003). In patients with hayfever, out-of-season suppression remained less than that seen by regulatory cells from non-atopic donors. Allergic disease can result from an inappropriate balance between allergen activation of regulatory CD4+CD25+ T cells and effector Th2 cells. This imbalance could result from a deficiency in suppression by regulatory T cells or strong activation signals could overcome such regulation. Treatment to enhance regulatory T-cell responses, in concert with reduction of Th2 cell activation, might be useful in prevention and treatment of allergic disease.
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              Sublingual immunotherapy: World Allergy Organization position paper 2013 update

              We have prepared this document, “Sublingual Immunotherapy: World Allergy Organization Position Paper 2013 Update”, according to the evidence-based criteria, revising and updating chapters of the originally published paper, “Sublingual Immunotherapy: World Allergy Organization Position Paper 2009”, available at http://www.waojournal.org. Namely, these comprise: “Mechanisms of sublingual immunotherapy;” “Clinical efficacy of sublingual immunotherapy” – reporting all the data of all controlled trials published after 2009; “Safety of sublingual immunotherapy” – with the recently published Grading System for adverse reactions; “Impact of sublingual immunotherapy on the natural history of respiratory allergy” – with the relevant evidences published since 2009; “Efficacy of SLIT in children” – with detailed analysis of all the studies; “Definition of SLIT patient selection” – reporting the criteria for eligibility to sublingual immunotherapy; “The future of immunotherapy in the community care setting”; “Methodology of clinical trials according to the current scientific and regulatory standards”; and “Guideline development: from evidence-based medicine to patients' views” – including the evolution of the methods to make clinical recommendations. Additionally, we have added new chapters to cover a few emerging crucial topics: “Practical aspects of schedules and dosages and counseling for adherence” – which is crucial in clinical practice for all treatments; “Perspectives and new approaches” – including recombinant allergens, adjuvants, modified allergens, and the concept of validity of the single products. Furthermore, “Raising public awareness about sublingual immunotherapy”, as a need for our patients, and strategies to increase awareness of allergen immunotherapy (AIT) among patients, the medical community, all healthcare stakeholders, and public opinion, are also reported in detail.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                1177-8881
                2015
                03 November 2015
                : 9
                : 5897-5909
                Affiliations
                Department of Pediatrics, University of Chieti, Chieti, Italy
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Alessandra Scaparrotta, Department of Pediatrics, University of Chieti, Via dei Vestini 5, 66013 Chieti, Italy, Tel +39 0871 3580 18, Fax +39 0871 5748 31, Email ale.scaparrotta@ 123456libero.it
                Article
                dddt-9-5897
                10.2147/DDDT.S70432
                4639524
                © 2015 Scaparrotta et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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