Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 153–161 | Cite as

The Current State of Epicutaneous Immunotherapy for Food Allergy: a Comprehensive Review

  • Bruce J. LanserEmail author
  • Donald Y. M. Leung


The food allergy epidemic of recent years has led to the search for safe and effective methods of immunotherapy for foods. Studies of epicutaneous immunotherapy (EPIT) in mice have shown promising safety and efficacy data. Murine models have also identified probable mechanisms for the development of tolerance to food allergens, including the induction of regulatory T cells. Clinical data is lacking, but relatively small and early studies among peanut and cow’s milk allergic subjects suggest that EPIT has an excellent safety profile, particularly compared to other methods of specific allergen immunotherapy. Efficacy data are also promising for peanut allergy, among younger patients (ages 4–11 years of age), suggesting that a majority of young patients will experience an increase in reaction threshold with therapy. The goal of this therapy is the protection from accidental exposures to a known food allergen. Additional clinical data is needed to prove efficacy and further demonstrate the safety profile of EPIT for food allergy, prior to approval by the Food and Drug Administration.


Food allergy Immunotherapy Epicutaneous immunotherapy Sublingual immunotherapy Oral immunotherapy Anaphylaxis 



epicutaneous immunotherapy


oral immunotherapy


sublingual immunotherapy


sustained unresponsiveness


oral food challenge


double-blind, placebo-controlled


treatment associated adverse events


cumulative tolerated dose


successfully consumed dose


epicutaneous delivery system


dendritic cells


lymph node


eosinophilic esophagitis


Viaskin® epicutaneous delivery system


subcutaneous immunotherapy


Food and Drug Administration


Randomized controlled trial


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

BJL and DYML have received research support from DBV Technologies, and participate in CoFAR, funded by NIAID/NIH. BJL has received research support from AImmune Therapeutics, has formerly received a speaker honorarium from Mylan, and served as a consultant to AImmune Therapeutics. DYML is the chair of the AImmune Therapeutics DSMB for phase 3 clinical trials.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, Division of Allergy and Clinical ImmunologyNational Jewish HealthDenverUSA

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