Purpose of review
The prevalence of food allergy is increasing on a global scale, and therefore increased attention is being paid to specific food allergy epidemiology and management. There has been a large amount of progress made in the last decade on human trials of wheat oral immunotherapy (WOIT).
To date, there has been one multicenter, double-blind, randomized controlled trial of WOIT, one randomized, noncontrolled trial of WOIT, and several smaller, nonrandomized clinical trials of WOIT. WOIT trials are generally limited by smaller sample sizes, affecting the demographic skew of evaluated patients. In addition, there is minimal standardization of efficacy and safety outcomes between trial protocols, making head-to-head comparison challenging. However, some common themes emerge. The majority of WOIT regimens result in successful desensitization, and success is more likely with higher maintenance dosing for longer periods of time. Limited studies have looked at sustained unresponsiveness in WOIT. WOIT can induce allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, but more severe reactions often have an associated augmenting factor, such as exercise. Lower maintenance doses likely are associated with less severe reactions, and food modification and/or adjunct therapeutics may also decrease the risk of reactions.
WOIT trials are ongoing and will optimize updosing protocols and maintenance doses to improve efficacy and safety.