It was known that allergen immunotherapy (AIT), particularly subcutaneous allergen immunotherapy (SCIT) and sublingual allergen immunotherapy (SLIT), is beneficial for IgE-mediated asthma. In patients with severe asthma, researchers sought to examine whether the advantages of AIT exceeded the risks.
Studies have primarily focused on people with mild to moderate asthma, but a few have found improvements in asthma symptoms and medication use in patients with severe asthma. A significant risk factor for severe and catastrophic systemic responses from SCIT was uncontrolled asthma, in particular. SCIT is absolutely contraindicated in cases of uncontrolled asthma. In patients with well-controlled, severe asthma, it was less obvious if the advantages of SCIT and SLIT may outweigh the risks, and further research was required in the area. Omalizumab, in particular, an asthma biologic, may enhance outcomes in SCIT-treated patients with severe, controlled asthma, although more information is required on the time and length of treatment.
AIT may help patients with severe asthma. However, there were hazards involved, especially for those with uncontrolled asthma. On the best ways to reduce hazards, further research was required.