Author(s): Creticos PS
Immunotherapy has undergone rigorous trials to assess its therapeutic benefit in the treatment of allergic respiratory disease. The tools of molecular biology have provided a framework with which to begin to understand the mechanistic effects of immunotherapy on the underlying inflammatory component of allergic respiratory disease. The clinical relevance of these observations belies our understanding of allergic inflammation as the subsoil for the development of abnormal airway physiology, heightened bronchial reactivity, and the development of chronic asthmatic symptoms. Immunotherapy provides the potential to downregulate this inflammatory cascade, reduce IgE antibody production, and attenuate symptoms. Conceptually, early intervention of allergic disease holds the most promise as a therapeutic intervention capable of arresting the progression of the disease, altering the severity of the disease, and/or preventing the development of the respiratory disease process.