Mona Kidon, MD: Recent Changes in Immunotherapy Practices, Food Allergy Treatment


This interview with Dr. Kidon featured a discussion regarding Kidon’s current peanut allergy research and views on recent developments in the field.

During this HCPLive interview with Mona Kidon, MD, she spoke on standards of care for those with food allergy changing from avoidance and treatment of anaphylaxis by epipen to newer strategies involving exposure.

Kidon is known for her research in peanut allergy treatment and her work as Director of the Pediatric Allergy Clinic and the Food Allergy Research Center at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel HaShomer, Israel.

“In the past 15 years or so, I've been actually focusing on treating and managing children with food allergies, and definitely the way we look at food allergies has changed dramatically in the past 15 years,” she said. “So coming from from the place where we said, ‘No way, no chance, don't touch, if you touch then take your epinephrine with you,’ coming to a point where we look at this as an opportunity to set up a conversation with the immune system and promote immunotherapy different ways, different audiences, different pathways can do that.”

Kidon explained that standards of care for those with food allergies have begun to be addressed by a growing body of research.

“But this is something that all of us are looking more and more seriously at and trying to develop new ways,” she explained. “Less allergenic, less rife with a lot of side effects, and looking at the pathway in order to promote tolerance to those foods, even prolonged or sustained, and responsiveness.”

She continued to explain that the field of allergy and immunology currently continues to focus on prevention, noting that newer research has focused on introducing and exposing children as early as possible to major allergens.

“I think all of us are actually convinced this is the future,” Kidon said. “However, not all of us are actually convinced that this is the present. So looking at my part as a pediatrician, first of all, and the reason I'm drawn to the way of doing these types of treatments using what we call the denatured proteins, and not the regular kind of natural proteins that cause allergies, is because of this profile of safety and side effects that is at this point quite dismal for the regular way to expose a patient.”

Kidon pointed out that taking a young child and making him or her eat what they may be allergic to, causing allergic reactions but with a positive goal of making the condition improve, can still be difficult.

“Because as a pediatrician, my first thing that I would say is if somebody offered my child any kind of intervention that had so many side effects and problems, I would say ‘hell no, it's not safe enough,’” she said. “You first have to make it safe before you even make it effective, but it has to be both safe and effective. So looking at what happens within the the fields of food allergies, like eggs and milk, where it's really easy, fairly easy to actually to denature those proteins and build up what now is called, throughout the world, a kind of a milk or egg ladder. It's definitely more safe.”

To learn more about the rest of Kidon’s discussion, view the full interview listed above.

Kidon has received the Israeli Chief Scientist's Office grant for the development of the "Mona Peanut" treatment, and has received a patent for the product within the past 12 months.

The quotes contained here have been edited for clarity.

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