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Sublingual Immunotherapy - Is There a Role?

Welcome to the World Allergy Forum Symposium and Introduction to "Sublingual Immunotherapy Is There a Role?"

Michael A. Kaliner

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the 28th Symposium in the World Allergy Forum Series, 'Sublingual Immunotherapy – Is There a Role'? I am particularly pleased to moderate this session today. Prof. G. Walter Canonica and Prof. Anthony J. Frew will share their extensive European experience with sublingual immunotherapy, and Dr. Linda Cox will discuss whether there is a place for sublingual immunotherapy in the United States. SLIT has become popular in Europe and may offer some advantages to selected populations of patients in the US as well. Today’s program will help enlighten us as to the populations of patients who may benefit.

The World Allergy Forum is the longest-running educational program of the World Allergy Organization, and we are grateful for the unrestricted educational grant from Novartis and Genentech which enables us to bring you this programtoday. I am lucky to preside over WAO at this time; the Organization has become very active in a wide range of activities, the leadership is extremely dynamic, and our position in the world of allergy is firmly established. Over the next two years,we plan a global agenda to strengthen allergy both for patients and allergists; we plan to make WAO more visible, of greater service to our member societies, and to establish strong and broad partnerships with our national and regional societies. Where we already have strong allergy societies, we will cooperate with them while always giving recognition to their skills and strengths. Where we have newer or less established societies, we will partner with and strengthen these fledgling groups through our Emerging Societies Program. In areas where there are no allergists, WAO will help local allergists to make the governing bodies aware of the need for allergy and work to create an environment where allergy and asthma sufferers can get access to well-trained physicians.

As part of our goal to promote our specialty, in January 2006 the WAO Specialty and Training Council published the results of a survey of allergy needs and practices in member countries in our two journals, Allergy & Clinical Immunology International– Journal of the World Allergy Organization (ACII-JWAO), and the International Archives of Allergy andImmunology. This important document will be followed by the publication of a provisional WAO position statement entitled Key Clinical Competencies for the Specialty of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, then later this year we will publish a third statement defining What is an Allergist. We continue to serve our members through our educational programming. In a 2006 partnership with the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), we are implementing an American version of the Global Resources in Allergy program (GLORIA) to provide 5-10 lectures per year to Regional, State and Local Allergy Societies inthe US using the GLORIA lecture modules presented by WAO and ACAAI lecturers. Applications for the USA-GLORIA can be submitted by all Regional, State and Local Allergy Societies wishing for the involvement of WAO at their local meeting.

We are actively planning the next World Allergy Congress, which will take place December 2-6, 2007, in Bangkok Thailand. The meeting will have several unique features. It will begin with an international symposium on Immunotherapy cosponsored by WAO, EAACI and AAAAI. The meeting will run for 3 1/2 days thereafter, ending with an overlapping international symposium on Food Allergy, cosponsored by the ACAAI and WAO. A global organization will only be as good as its ability to communicate. WAO is fortunate to have Richard F. Lockey as Editor-in-Chief of the WAO Web site, and Johannes Ring as Editor of JWAO. The monthly email newsletter, WAONews and Notes, is designed to keep everyone informed of clinical advances in the field of allergy and to provide aready means of rapid communications. If you are not receiving this free of charge communication, please contact us at and share your email information.

As we look to the future, we recognize that allergy is a rapidly developing and expanding field, but recognition of the importance of allergy is still underappreciated, and the time when allergy is accepted as a subspecialty of medicine and pediatrics akin to cardiology and gastroenterology is still on the horizon. WAO is committed to strengthening allergy through active educational and research partnerships with our 74 member societies. In the end, the many millions of patients with asthma and allergy will benefit as the importance of allergic diseases is recognized and taught more widely.

With my best regards,

Michael A. Kaliner
President, World Allergy Organization

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