A cure for milk allergies? Part 2: Dr. Schneider explains the bold, new idea.

In this second video in our Milk Allergy series, Children’s Allergy Program’s Director, Lynda Schneider, MD, discusses her groundbreaking study to teach severely allergic patients, like Brett Nasuti, featured in our video last week, to tolerate milk. Much like environmental allergy shots, patients get exposed to tiny amounts of the allergen—in this case, by drinking cow’s milk—so their immune systems become desensitized and don’t react to it. Until recently, the only treatment for allergies has consisted of avoiding the food and managing reactions when they occur. This exposure desensitization trial—the first of its kind in the country—represents a bold new way of thinking about food allergies.

Check back next week to see Brett take his first-ever sip of milk.

We’d love to hear what you think; share your thoughts here.

  • sherry stanton

    I am looking for any relief for my 3 children…all who are anaphylactic to milk and milk by-products, eggs, nuts, and seeds. It has been stressful with them going to a school that participates in a milk program where they actively try and sell milk and continue to have limited staff available so my children are left supervised by children at lunch and snack periods. They have all had reactions at school and on more than a couple occasions, the situation was handled poorly.
    I worry for their safety every time they go to school. Please keep me updated on anything that could help my children.

    Thanks.

  • Pingback: Anaphylaxis Management Using Desensitisation – Episode #23 | Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Information - Online TV and Podcast Blog()

  • liz

    I heard Dr. Schneider say that they gave Brett Xolair prior to the milk allergy exposure. My son was on Xolair for 2 years every 2 weeks starting at age 11. While he was on Xolair, his asthma and eczema improved dramatically. We also found that when we did the allergy skin test, he was found negative to previous allergies. He has severe milk allergy as well. While on Xolair, he ate cheetos and loved them. At 13.5 he refused to have the Xolair injections anymore. His IgE is back up (now 899) and he cannot eat cheetos anymore without a reaction. I am wondering if Brett has to continue to receive Xolair in order to continue to drink milk?

  • Seeee

    Were there any fatalities in the study? Is it available across the county yet? Is this stuff published so other MD’s can try it? Is there a link to an online published paper on it? Realllly looking fwd to trying this on our ana 9 yr old in Southern Cali.
    Thnx for your time. xo

  • Amy

    I really really would love for my 8 year old to be cured of her milk allergy. Do you know of anyone in Houston that is doing this or would be willing to?

  • beenthere

    My son reacted to cow dairy proteins and soy proteins through my breast milk.I had to cut these products out of my diet and continued to nurse him at least once a day until he was almost 3 (couldn’t find much at the time for milk allergies that wasn’t soy based. Soy allergies were considered non-existenet in North America at the turn of the millenium, now it is one of the top 5 allergens?). His reactions included severe weeping eczema (esp. on his face and chest),stuffy runny noses and coughs,paleness and dark circles around his eyes. We were told to watch for asthma as it forms a “triangle with dairy allergies and eczema”. We were told he might grow out of it.We tried the odd milk and soy product at 6 month intervals starting at 1 yr old. He is now 8. His reactions to offending milk products are now a more mild form of eczema,sometimes only even hives. He also gets lung congestion, paleness, dark cirlces around the eyes,hyperactivity/’short-fuse’. He can have modified milk ingredients, butter,whey and casein (lactose never a problem),but not full-out milk.He also reacts to goat milk.He uses traditionally brewed soya sauce and soy lecithin/fats without a problem but reacts strongly to any other soy products.He can however have all the sheep’s milk products he can eat. I was once told that cow and goat feed contains a lot of soy these days, but sheep are usually grazed and fed more ‘grass’ type feeds. If this is true, I wonder if my son is reacting to soy in the cow and goat milk like he did while nursing. I can’t really say we desensitized him as he wasn’t given anything regularly as far as dairy products so some of that may have been outgrown. He has been using sheep products for about a year now but his cow and goat milk allergies haven’t seemed to change in any way relative. I can say that he regularly consumes brewed soya sauce and it has had little if any effect on his reactions to soy proteins-which are stronger than his reactions to dairy. He was however diagnosed with asthma recently and now has a puffer.

  • liseetsa

    My son has been in desensitization treatment for a little over a year.  He now consumes 8 peanuts a day.  Dr. Wasserman is in Dallas and desens. milk, eggs, peanuts, and probably treenuts and more.  Dr. Nash is in NC and desens. for the same.  In our fb group, Peanut Anaphylaxis Cure, we have a list of licensed immunologist and studies offering the treatment.  I am NOT a fan of Xolair.  In my experience and from what I’ve read of the original publications, desensitization is “safe and effective” for 85-95% of the children who try it–WITHOUT additional drugs.  The 15% who cannot proceed usually have EE, are epi-resistent, or have a different underlying medical condition.  If they proceed slowly enough, you shouldn’t have severe reactions in the first place.  Sure it COULD happen but i feel as if they are looking for a home for xolair since it failed the thing they wanted it to do.  Now they’ve latched on to desensitization. Iit is completely unnecessary.  People cannot seem to just believe it and think they need a primer?  It’s quid pro quo–let us USE your child for this drug, then we’ll desensitize him.  When they should be desensitizing MILLIONS of children anyway and NOW!!!  And no one has died from OIT.  One woman died at Jewish National during the injection trials but she was supposed to have received the placebo and actually received the full-peanut protein.  That was the end of injection trials.  Dr. Burks published desensitization is “safe and effective.”  Didn’t say you’d need drops first, or xolair or a patch or herb or a rabbit’s food.  Just eat the peanut, drink the milk, etc… to make the allergy “just go away.”  https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/peanutanaphylaxiscure/

  • http://www.FoodAllergiesToGo.com Ann

    How long before this treatment is available to the general public?
    In the meantime, we’ll be adding food allergy vetted restaurants to http://www.FoodAllergiesToGo.com, so people with food allergies will have a chance to dine out and travel.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Liz,

    Brett is not on Xolair. He only had Xolair for 16 weeks during the study. His last Xolair shot was in July of last year. He was gradually introduced to milk (while on Xolair)in miniscule amounts everyday to train his body to accept or desensitize him. He also MUST have milk products everyday so that his tolerance doesn’t slip (I.e. his body could forget it is okay if he stops taking milk products). He loves pizza and ice cream and gained 14 pounds since the beginning of the study.

  • Seeee

    Seeee update: Our local Southern Cali MD won’t do it. I’m not sure would trust an MD I didn’t know to do it. Our blood test came back at 17 instead of 40 from a few yrs ago to milk. That’s still class 5 I think but it’s under the “35” I thought I read one has to be to qualify for this test.
    Anyone know of an excellent food allergy MD in Southern Cali? Thanks! XO – @BollywoodBlonde