Rady Children's Specialists

Allergy & Immunology

Food Allergy Research

The incidence of food allergy has dramatically increased in the United States within the last 20 years. Throughout the country, research is being done on what could be causing these food allergies, as well as how we can treat them. At our Food Allergy Center, research is being conducted in both of these areas.

Current and Upcoming Clinical Trials for Various Food Allergy Treatments

Multiple clinical trials are being conducted looking at possible treatments for food allergy to decrease the chance and/or severity of a reaction when accidentally exposed.  Immunotherapy is currently the main focus of research in food allergy clinical trials. Immunotherapy involves exposing the patient to very small amounts of the food that they are allergic to, in hopes that their immune system will slowly begin to tolerate it. This therapy is done under close physician-supervision using in a strict protocol due to the risk of side effects. These treatments are not safe to be tried at home.

Clinical trials at Rady Children’s/UC San Diego include oral immunotherapy, given by mouth, and epicutaneous immunotherapy, given through a patch on the skin. We are currently involved in clinical trials for peanut allergy and milk allergy, and will soon begin an egg allergy trial. Click here for active clinical trials.

San Diego Food Allergy Registry: This registry collects clinical, laboratory and genetic data to study the development of and natural history of food allergy in children. For those children in the Food Allergy Registry, a small amount of extra blood is drawn at the same time as regular labs and used for research purposes.The hope is that we will learn about who develops food allergies and who is likely to outgrow them in order to help patients now and in the future.

Fish Allergy Studies: Research is being conducted into the cross-reactivity between different fish species using laboratory testing and selected oral food challenges. Children with known fish allergy may be selected to be challenged to different fish species to see if they are able to tolerate some species despite being allergic to others.The hope is to be able to expand their diet to include some types of fish while avoiding others and learn more about fish allergy.

To find out more information about these studies and possible involvement, please contact Amy Grissinger, N.P, at agrissinger@rchsd.org or Sarah Holland, R.N., at sholland@rchsd.org.