Chicago—Patients receiving ibrutinib to treat certain types of leukemia and lymphoma had an unexpected outcome: Their reactivity to common allergens was reduced by 80% to 90% in just a week, according to a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Northwestern University researchers posit the pilot study could have significant implications for adults with food allergies. The FDA-approved drug is used as an alternative to chemotherapy for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and mantle cell lymphoma. For the small study, researchers performed traditional allergy skin tests and the basophil activation test on cancer patients before they had initiated ibrutinib and again after 1 week, as well as after 1 to 2 months of taking it. Their results suggest that ibrutinib blocks allergic reactions by inhibiting FcεRI-dependent basophil and mast cell activation.
Published June 30, 2017