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Is there a role for treatment of asthma with omalizumab?
  1. H Milgrom
  1. Correspondence to:
    Prof. H Milgrom, Professor of Pediatrics, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 1400 Jackson Street, Denver, Colorado 80206, USA;
    milgromh{at}njc.org

Abstract

The allergic response is distinct from other immune reactions in its reliance on IgE, its high affinity receptor, FcεRI, and the primary effector cell—the tissue mast cell. Positive skin tests or raised concentrations of specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) in the serum define IgE sensitisation or “atopy”. IgE participates both in immediate hypersensitivity response and in the induction of chronic allergic inflammation. It enhances allergen capture and Th2 cell activation, and may trigger other immunoregulatory pathways. Considerable effort in therapeutic research has focused on interference with IgE function because of its position high in the allergic cascade. Therapy with anti-IgE is one such approach that shows much promise.

  • IgE
  • asthma
  • omalizumab
  • BDP, beclomethasone dipropionate
  • EPR, early phase allergic response
  • FEV1, forced expiratory volume in one second
  • ICS, inhaled corticosteroid
  • IL, interleukin
  • LPR, late phase allergic response

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