(CBS) – Every three minutes in the U.S. someone visits an emergency room with a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction to food, but now top researchers are exploring a promising experimental treatment.
One Stanford doctor is using a revolutionary approach – called immunotherapy – to combat the deadly threat, and she has success stories to prove its effectiveness.
“What we do is to try to take away people’s allergies and try to do it permanently,” said immunologist and researcher Dr. Kari Nadeau. “In order to do that though you have to give someone back the same food that they’re allergic to.”
At the start of the treatment, Nadeau and her team give most patients a series of injections to lower the body’s immune response. Several weeks later, they start eating just a few grains of the foods they are allergic to and over the course of about six months to a year that amount is steadily increased.