What is Cluster Immunotherapy and How Could it Help You?
Cluster immunotherapy is a strategy for treating allergies and allergic diseases. Like other types of immunotherapy, it is generally performed after skin tests have shown what allergies a patient has and involves a series of shots.
What makes cluster immunotherapy different from conventional therapies is the speed with which the shots are given - and how quickly a patient gets to what is known as their maintenance dose. The maintenance dose is the dose that proves most effective for treating the individual patient's allergy. Because patients get to the maintenance dose faster with cluster immunotherapy, they also often feel better faster with this approach.
While conventional immunotherapy tends to involve months of shots before the maintenance dose is reached, cluster immunotherapy can be done in a matter of hours. Some patients worry that getting several injections in a single day can increase their risk of allergic reactions. As with all immunotherapies, it is important to monitor your reaction to the therapy and to have access to the right medicine or care when undergoing cluster immunotherapy. However, it is also important to note that several studies have shown that cluster immunotherapy is a safe way to treat populations of allergy patients.
A study performed earlier this year in patients with allergic rhinitis demonstrated that cluster immunotherapy reduced the time it took for patients to get to their maintenance dose by more than 60%. The patients, who were studied over a 6 week period, experienced significant improvement in their symptoms. Critically, they did not suffer any worse systemic adverse reactions than patients who underwent conventional immunotherapy. The researchers therefore concluded that cluster immunotherapy is both safe and effective for treating certain patients.
There is ongoing research to help us understand all the advantages of cluster immunotherapy and any potential disadvantages. The research should also help to clarify which patients can benefit the most from cluster immunotherapy.