Immunotherapy given directly to the lymph nodes may be less painful and work faster than traditional allergy shots

A report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Nov 2008) describes a study by researchers at Switzerland’s University Hospital, Zurich, of 183 adults with hay fever, split into two groups.

One group of patients got three immunotherapy shots to their lymph nodes over two months; patients in the other group got traditional immunotherapy, consisting of 54 under-the-skin (subcutaneous) allergy shots spread over three years.

Patients in the lymph node group had milder allergic reactions to the shots, quicker improvement in tolerance to their allergen and less use of ‘rescue’ medicines to relieve allergy symptoms.

Three years later, the lymph node shots hadn't worn off, although patients in both groups reported similar degrees of improvement in their allergy symptoms.

The journal notes that Kundig is the inventor named for intralymphatic immunotherapy (the lymph node shots) on a patent owned by the University of Zurich.

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First published in January 2009

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