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Doctor insights on: Immunotherapy

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Dr. Michael Palumbo
1,127 Doctors shared insights

Immunotherapy (Overview)

Encompasses subcutaneous, patch or sublingual treatment with increasing amounts of specific allergen. Used for allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, and hymenoptera hypersensitivity (and in ongoing trials for food allergy). Specific IgE-mediated disease must be proven. Indications are lack of symptom control despite medication/avoidance, reduce risk of anaphylaxis, or economic value (vs medication)


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What is immunotherapy?

What is immunotherapy?

Educate Immune Cell: Immunotherapy involves a retraining of the immune system. This may include therapeutic vaccines or immune checkpoint inhibitors for patients with cancer. The goal is to train the body's immune system to behave more normally for example recognizing and attacking the cancer. This type of therapy has recently gained interest with the approval of immunotherapy agents for prostate cancer and melanoma. ...Read more

Dr. Michael Palumbo
1,127 Doctors shared insights

Immunotherapy (Overview)

Encompasses subcutaneous, patch or sublingual treatment with increasing amounts of specific allergen. Used for allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, and hymenoptera hypersensitivity (and in ongoing trials for food allergy). Specific IgE-mediated disease must be proven. Indications are lack of symptom control despite medication/avoidance, reduce risk of anaphylaxis, or economic value (vs medication)


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How does immunotherapy work?

How does immunotherapy work?

Many ways: The best characterized mechanisms are induction of specific t suppressor cells to down regulate the immune response to allergens, and the generation of IgG "blocking" antibodies that bind allergens before they can bind to ige on the surface of mast cells to trigger histamine release. ...Read more

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What can immunotherapy treat?

Immunotherapy: Can be use for autoimmune conditions and hypogammaglonulinemia. ...Read more

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What happens in immunotherapy?

Tolerance: Immunotherapy is a treatment that involves exposure of the immune system to gradually increasing doses of an allergen to which the person is allergic. During this gradual increase in dose the immune system becomes tolerant or resistant to the exposure reducing the symptoms that a person has on exposure to those allergens in nature. ...Read more

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What is targeted immunotherapy?

Boosting immunity: To fight cancer, that's it in a nutshell, check the following link for more info,

http://www. Cancer. Net/new-targeted-immunotherapy-promising-treatment-several-advanced-cancers ...Read more

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How does radio immunotherapy feel?

Varied side effects: Radioimmunotherapy such as zevalin or Bexxar (tositumomab) can have multiple side effects: infusion reactions such as fevers, rigors, blood pressure changes, shortness of breath can occur. Serious side effects include low blood counts (fatigue, infections), new blood cancers, skin reactions, impaired fertility. ...Read more

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Can children receive immunotherapy?

Can children receive immunotherapy?

Yes: Most allergists prefer to start immunotherapy injections around age 5. Often given to younger patients in hopes of preventing development of asthma in these young patients with nasal allergies. ...Read more

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Where should immunotherapy be given?

Where should immunotherapy be given?

Under supervision: Immunotherapy should be given under the supervision of a physician in a facility equipped with proper staff and equipment to identify and treat adverse reactions to allergy injections. Ideally, immunotherapy should be given in the prescribing allergist/immunologist's office. ...Read more

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How long does the immunotherapy take?

5 years: Most people see results in as little as 9-12 months, and nearly maximum results by three years, and a full course of therapy is 5 years. Symptoms often start to come back three to five years after stopping immunotherapy, so some patients prefer to continue the shots for much longer than 5 years. ...Read more

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When should immunotherapy be stopped?

When goals achieved: Immunotherapy is usually stopped when maximum benefit has been achieved (exception is stinging insect immunotherapy). The ideal goal is enough reduction in symptoms that only prn medications are required, but in some cases when no additional benefit is seen in symptom or medication reduction in the last year. ...Read more

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How is radio-immunotherapy administered?

How is radio-immunotherapy administered?

In steps: Radio-immunotherapy (rit) is given in three steps, all through an iv. Step 1: an antibody to b cells alone to clear out some normal b cells. Step 2: an antibody to b cells with a small amount of radiation attached, followed by imaging. Step 3: a "hot" antibody to b cells with a larger dose of radiation attached. This acts like a smart bomb to kill cancerous b cells (lymphoma cells). ...Read more

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When might immunotherapy be ineffective?

Immunotherapy: Never a guarantee any immunotherapy will be effective, but oftentimes it is due to making a weak serum, placing proteolytic allergens together, or patients non-compliance and never reaching top dose. ...Read more

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Is the immunotherapy a risky thing to do?

Benefit >risk: Immunotherapy can be risky in some settings. When done right by a board certified allergist in a controlled setting with a gradual build up risks are rare. Reactions can always occur as you are being injected with something to which you are allergic. That is why all shots are given in a doctors office with a doctor on site and all patients must wait 30 minutes after their injections. ...Read more

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Is immunotherapy a very common procedure?

Is immunotherapy a very common procedure?

Allergy immunotherap: Immunotherapy or allergy shots are a frequently used procedure to treat allergic rhinitis and asthma. In the hands of well trained allergists selecting the correct patients to go on immunotherapy, this can be a very effective tool in reducing allergic symptoms and need for medications. ...Read more

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Who should be treated with immunotherapy?

Who should be treated with immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy: Anyone who is found to be allergic to the pollens of the region they live. Initial therapy is usually medication management but if the patient fails or is still symptomatic, immunotherapy should be strongly considered. Remember, only 18% of people who start will ever complete therapy. ...Read more

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Why would anyone recommend immunotherapy?

Allergy modulation: Immunotherapy commonly refer to 'allergy shots' for the treament of allergies (as opposed to allergy symptoms) immunotherapy has the potential to induce tolerance to the substnace that cause allergy in an individual, which reduces the allergic reactions and symptoms, and reduce the need of medication. Immunotherapy is most importnat for those who fail or don't tolerate a medication regimen. ...Read more

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When does someone need targeted immunotherapy?

Disease modifying: Dr Greive (spelling?) has spelled out the indications for targeted immunotherapy but I would like to add a few more
(1) It is probably one of the few if not the only treatments which changes the disease process. Often improvement can be maintained years after the injections have been discontinued.
(2)It may reduce development of new allergies and possibly autoimmune disease. ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: immunotherapy?

"Allergy shots": Encompasses subcutaneous, patch or sublingual treatment with increasing amounts of specific allergen. Used for allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, and hymenoptera hypersensitivity (and in ongoing trials for food allergy). Specific IgE-mediated disease must be proven. Indications are lack of symptom control despite medication/avoidance, reduce risk of anaphylaxis, or economic value (vs medication) ...Read more

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Does immunotherapy truly take 3-5 years to have an effect?

Length of time: It might for maximum results but often you can start to expeeience benefits after just a few months. ...Read more

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How long does it take to see the benefits of immunotherapy?

Depends: It really depends on the patient, compliance is very important. If a patient is compliant with once- or twice-weekly shots, he or she should begin to see improvement after 6-9 months of therapy. ...Read more

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What is the possible advantage that immunotherapy might have?

Many: By changing your immune system to make you less allergic, rather than just treating the symptoms like medications do, immunotherapy is far more effective than medications. You'll also be able to tolerate unexpected exposures (going to the home of a friend of a friend who has cats) without pre-medicating. It reduces the risk of developing or worsening asthma, whereas medications alone do not. ...Read more

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Do you need to wear gloves when giving immunotherapy injection?

No: Good clinical practice recommends use of sterile technique and safety syringes however gloves are not mandated and therefore up to the discretion of the administrator. ...Read more

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What are some factors I should consider before receiving immunotherapy?

Symptoms: If you have been tried on all available medical treatments and are still suffering from allergy symptoms it is time to consider starting allergy immunotherapy. Particularly when allergies impact asthma. ...Read more

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Is there a better time of year (for example, winter) to start immunotherapy or will similar results be achieved regardless of the time of year it is started?

Is there a better time of year (for example, winter) to start immunotherapy or will similar results be achieved regardless of the time of year it is started?

Now: In general it is best to get started on immunotherapy as soon as possible to get the best result sooner. If you are currently having seasonal allergy symptoms now, getting started on immunotherapy now will get you on your way to significant symptom relief by the next spring season. Also from experience if you wait until your symptoms are not bothering you you may not be as diligent. ...Read more

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What is venom immunotherapy?

Bee or Wasp allergy: Venom includes bees wasps hornets and fire ants. Immunotherapy is a series of desensitization injections. Most often starting weekly and progressing to every 6 weeks in most cases. There are rush immunotherapy programs in place as well. Traditional immunotherapy continues for 5 years in most cases. ...Read more

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How does venom-immunotherapy work?

How does venom-immunotherapy work?

Venom Immunotherapy: If you have a history of anaphylaxis and confirmed venom allergy by skin testing, venom immunotherapy (VIT) can significantly reduce your risk of having a repeat systemic reaction in the future. With VIT risk of systemic reaction goes down to ~10% (general pop 3%). VIT alters your immune response. While not a cure, VIT significantly reduces your risk. Still need to carry EpiPen (epinephrine). ...Read more

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Does immunotherapy involve antitoxins?

Definition: Immunotherapy indicates the use of immunological mechanisms for treatment. Allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots) do not include antitoxins.
Antitoxins are antibodies against toxins and are used whaen toxins are suspected, for example posionous snake bites. This treatment can be called immunotherapy. ...Read more

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What is Antigen-specific immunotherapy?

What is Antigen-specific immunotherapy?

Specific allergens: If you are referring to allergy treatment, then this simply means that you are given extracts containing the specific allergens you are sensitized to. On the other hand, allergic people are usually less likely to have autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis which you appear to suffer. Thus you will need to tell us what disease condition this treatment is intended for. ...Read more

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Is there an upper limit for immunotherapy?

No: There is no upper age limit for receiving immunotherapy. In considering immunotherapy in older persons, consideration must be given to the other medical conditions (such as cardiac disease) that are more frequent in older individuals, which could potentially make immunotherapy more risky. ...Read more