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SAN DIEGO, CA
February 28, 2014

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2014 Annual Meeting

National Jewish Health faculty will make dozens of presentations, at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, Feb. 28 through March 4 on topics ranging from DNA methylation in asthma, to allergies to implanted joints, living with food allergies and allergen immunotherapy. Below are a few highlights.

Allergic to Your New Joint?

Approximately 100,000 joint implants fail each year in the United States. Allergy to metals and bone cement cause a significant portion of those failures, especially the “unexplained” ones, according to Karin Pacheco, MD, occupational allergist at National Jewish Health. Dr. Pacheco has a busy clinic in Denver testing people both before getting an implant and after an implant has failed.

History of reaction to metal jewelry is a prime warning sign. Bone cement allergy was more common among patients after they received the implant.
(Oral abstracts, occupational allergy; Sunday, 2:45 pm)

Dr. Pacheco is also is also speaking about metal allergy and implantable devices at a “What’s New” symposium.  (Sunday at 10:45 am)

A pill for hay fever

Oral and sublingual immunotherapies are gaining traction in the United States. Traditional immunotherapy (allergy shots) are one of the most effective treatments for allergies, but incredibly tiresome because patients have to go into the doctor’s office monthly for years to get their shots, and wait around there to make sure they do not have severe allergic reactions.

Oral and sublingual therapy offer an attractive alternative. Take a pill every morning at home. An FDA advisory committee has recommended approval of pills that can be taken for immunotherapy against ragweed and grass, two major allergens. FDA approval of those could happen in the next few months.

Harold Nelson, MD, of National Jewish Health, one of the world’s leading experts on immunotherapy, is co-author of a trial showing that a pill for immunotherapy against house dust mite is effective. (Late breaking oral abstracts; Tuesday, 2:15 pm).

Dr. Nelson also delivered a CME course Friday on optimal dosing, regimen and duration for oral and sublingual immunotherapy.

Oral immunotherapy lasts a long time…for some

National Jewish Health allergist Andrew Liu, MD, will be a co-author of a large multi-center trial showing that after 4 years of oral immunotherapy and one year off immunotherapy, about 55% of previously allergic children could safely eat egg.
(Late breaking oral abstracts; Tuesday, 2:15 pm).

Methylation, Moms and Allergies Across the Generations

National Jewish Health allergist Pia Hauk, MD, has found a DNA methylation pattern in pregnant mothers that is associated with higher risk among their offspring of developing allergic diseases, eczema and food allergy at 2 years of age. Methyl donors, folate and vitamin B12, did not appear to influence the allergic pattern…but something did.

(Oral abstract, immune mechanisms in atopy, Sunday at 2:45 pm)

National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Founded 115 years ago as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health today is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of patients with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders. Patients and families come to National Jewish Health from around the world to receive cutting-edge, comprehensive, coordinated care. To learn more, visit the media resources page.

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