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New Insights into Immunotherapy for Allergic Disorders

G. Walter Canonica, MD
Hugh Sampson
Hugh Sampson

Dear Colleagues,

It is our pleasure to welcome you to the 33rd World Allergy Forum symposium, New Insights into Immunotherapy for Allergic Disorders.

Immunotherapy is a topic of major interest to allergists worldwide; it is the only therapy for allergic disease that currently offers potentially long-term benefit and the possibility of prevention of disease progression. Immunotherapy is thus the focus of several collaborative initiatives between WAO and AAAAI at the present time; at the end of 2008, WAO and AAAAI representatives met to review the US experience with Sub-lingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) and to discuss the optimal methodology for future studies. In January 2009 AAAAI representative and WAO Board member, Tom Casale Co-Chaired a meeting of WAO member societies and other medical organizations to create a global Position Statement on SLIT, considering a wide range of important issues including efficacy, safety and patient selection. AAAAI is partnering with WAO in organizing the 2nd Immunotherapy Day, to be held at the World Allergy Congress in Buenos Aires, 6-10 December, 2009. WAO is most grateful to AAAAI for its continuing support in these global initiatives, and for including this World Allergy Forum symposium on immunotherapy in this year’s scientific program; the unrestricted educational grant from Novartis which has enabled us to invite an international panel of experts to speak on this important topic is gratefully acknowledged.

Gianni Passalacqua will start today’s program with a discussion on Sublingual Immunotherapy for the Prevention and Management of Pediatric Asthma. The current experience of SLIT in children with rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma will be presented, and information regarding the preventive effects of SLIT will be discussed.

In his presentation Modular Antigen Translocating (MAT) Molecules: A Novel Allergy Vaccine Strategy, Cezmi Akdis will describe the properties that would constitute a ‘perfect’ immunotherapy vaccine, and will introduce studies being conducted by his group that aim to improve the efficacy and safety of allergen-SIT. Concluding the symposium, Tom Casale will speak on the Effects of Allergen Immunotherapy and Omalizumab on Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Inflammation, and will present a study that provides an in-depth view of a systemic allergic response triggered by inhaled allergens, and shows how immunotherapy works to counteract this response.

We hope you will enjoy this World Allergy Forum symposium, and look forward to your comments and questions!

With best regards,

G. Walter Canonica, MD FAAAAI
World Allergy Organization

Hugh A. Sampson, MD FAAAAI
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

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