Stanford Allergy Center

A Letter from Dr. Kari Nadeau on the New York Times Magazine article featuring SAFAR

In response to Melanie Thernstrom's article, "The Allergy Buster", I am writing this letter in an attempt to clarify some items and reduce any anxiety by addressing questions that could have arisen. The families participating in these studies, including the three profiled in the story, are the real heroes.  I am grateful that their experiences may encourage others.

These only represent the stories of three people and their families; no generalizations can be made from their stories. There is no cure at the current time.  Any therapy for food allergy is experimental, risky, and might not work long term. It is important for readers to understand that based on the lack of sufficient evidence, recent consensus guidelines from the National Institutes of Health specifically recommend food allergy therapy be conducted in research settings http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/foodallergy/clinical/Pages/default.aspx. Large randomized studies are required to prove safety and effectiveness, and these have not yet been done. 

I have received much interest and feedback from the NYT piece; therefore, I wanted to take the time and write the following to elaborate on important information for the readers:

Finding a cure for food allergy remains a top priority for all of us. We are committed to helping our patients with food allergies thrive through education and advocacy on individual and societal levels, while we continue to work aggressively to find better solutions through research.

Sincerely,

Kari C. Nadeau, MD, PhD
Stanford University

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