Mechanisms of Allergen Immunotherapy

This study has been terminated.
(R and D approval not forthcoming)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Nicola Gray, Royal Sussex County Hospital Identifier:
First received: January 27, 2012
Last updated: September 21, 2012
Last verified: September 2012

Hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis) results from allergy to grass and tree pollen. The majority of affected individuals manage well with medication from the Pharmacy or from their general practitioner (GP), but for some severely affected people it severely impacts on quality of life. Less than 40% of those affected in UK general practice feel that these medications achieve good symptomatic control.

Specific immunotherapy or desensitisation is the practice of administering small amounts of allergen to allergic patients in increasing doses. This treatment is highly effective in these patients and furthermore is truly disease-modifying, with benefits persisting long-term, even when the treatment has been completed. Desensitisation is a routine treatment in the UK, Europe and North America. The exact immune mechanisms that underlie this symptomatic improvement are not entirely clear. Dr Tarzi, Professor Frew and Professor Kern have recently developed new methods for the investigation of immune responses to allergens. These methods require relatively small blood samples and may provide useful information about how immunotherapy exerts its effects. In addition to improving the investigators basic understanding of this treatment, such knowledge may drive improvements in the treatment and could be useful for monitoring patients for response. The investigators study proposes to investigate changes in the immune responses to pollen allergens during immunotherapy. Blood will be taken just prior to the first immunotherapy injection and again just prior to the final injection. In this way the investigators will be able to compare the immune responses to pollen allergen before and after treatment.

Condition Intervention
Allergic Rhinitis
Biological: Allergovit grass or birch

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: An Open Study to Investigate the Effects of Injection Immunotherapy on Allergen-specific T and B Cell Responses in Adult Patients With Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis.

Further study details as provided by Royal Sussex County Hospital:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • What are the changes in T cells associated with immunotherapy? [ Time Frame: 6 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    How does the T cell response change after immunotherapy

Enrollment: 2
Study Start Date: April 2012
Estimated Study Completion Date: September 2015
Estimated Primary Completion Date: June 2015 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Open label study of changes to cellular responses following immunotherapy
Biological: Allergovit grass or birch
subcutaneous injection of immunotherapy once weekly for 7 weeks prior to birch pollen season.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Male or female
  • Age 18 with no upper age limit
  • History of seasonal rhino-conjunctivitis in the appropriate season, not controlled by optimised standard medical therapy
  • Positive skin prick test to grass pollen or tree pollen

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Inadequately controlled or moderate to severe asthma (GINA III/IV), i.e. the FEV1 is below 70 % of the target value despite adequate pharmacotherapy
  • Irreversible changes in the reaction organ (emphysema, bronchiectasis, etc.)
  • Clinically significant cardiovascular insufficiency (in cardiovascular diseases, there is an elevated risk of adverse reactions to adrenaline)
  • Local or systemic use of beta blockers
  • Diseases of the immune system (autoimmune diseases, immune complex-induced immunopathies, immunodeficiencies etc.)
  • Malignant disease within the past five years (Patients with previous malignant disease that is considered cured may be included subject to the consent of their oncologist)
  • Inability to attend regularly for injections and follow-up visits
  • Severe atopic dermatitis
  • Pregnant or not using adequate contraception (post-menopausal, surgically sterilised, long-term abstinent, or barrier methods plus spermicide)
  • Breast-feeding
  • Evidence of current drug or alcohol misuse
  • Hypersensitivity to any of the SIT (immunotherapy product) excipients
  • Active tuberculosis
  • Severe mental disorders
  • Multiple sclerosis
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01523158

United Kingdom
Royal Sussex County Hospital
Brighton, United Kingdom, BN2 5BE
Sponsors and Collaborators
Royal Sussex County Hospital
  More Information

Responsible Party: Nicola Gray, Clinical Research Fellow, Royal Sussex County Hospital Identifier: NCT01523158     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 12/014/TAR 
Study First Received: January 27, 2012
Last Updated: September 21, 2012
Health Authority: United Kingdom: National Health Service

Keywords provided by Royal Sussex County Hospital:
Allergic Rhinitis

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Rhinitis, Allergic
Hypersensitivity, Immediate
Immune System Diseases
Nose Diseases
Otorhinolaryngologic Diseases
Respiratory Hypersensitivity
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Respiratory Tract Infections processed this record on May 26, 2016