Monday, November 11, 2013

Bone marrow transplants to cure food allergies?

Let me get this out of the way from the get-go, bone marrow transplants (BMTs) to cure food allergies are not really a question up for debate - this is NOT a good treatment option for your typical food allergic individual. There I've said it - the disappointing part. More on WHY I say this further in the post where I will discuss exactly what a BMT is. Let's just say the potential life-threatening risks of a BMT (among a few other factors, such as cost) far outweigh the potential benefits of a food allergy cure - even for those of us dealing with the risk of life-threatening anaphylaxis.

So where did this business of BMTs curing food allergies even come from? This week, clinicians presented a case-study at the annual #ACAAI (American College of Asthma Allergy and Immunology) scientific meeting, that a 10-year-old boy with both leukemia and a life-threatening peanut allergy was likely cured of his peanut allergy following a BMT to treat his leukemia (Link to press coverage of the case study) [1]. First off, I cannot even imagine dealing with a life-threatening food allergy and then discovering cancer on top it. Needless to say, this family has endured a lot. The really good news is that as far as I can read in the scientific abstract from the meeting, the boy is cancer-free and peanut-allergy free! Below I am giving you the details that are given in the abstract, which inquiring minds may want to know (Meeting abstracts are published in the 2013 November Supplement to the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology).


Friday, November 8, 2013

Food Allergy Bloggers Conference Wrap-up: Genius Loves Company

It has been over 4 days since I returned from warm, sunny Las Vegas and the first ever Food Allergy Bloggers Conference, belovedly going by #FABlogCon on Twitter.  Last Friday, I assumed that I would publish a wrap-up post on the blog by Wednesday.  Boy was I wrong!  I've been grappling for days now, how to put this event into the words that even begins to give it the justice it deserves.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Exciting times - guest post and food allergy bloggers conference!

So much exciting news to share:

Yesterday, a piece that I authored was published on the ever so resourceful, insightful, and evidence-based website, Asthma Allergies Children with editor in chief, Henry Ehrlich.  I am honored and humbled to be included among the distinguished individuals in the allergy community contributing to this website.  Go check it out!  It just may make you think twice about the long arduous process of science and what "negative" results in science mean.  I also want to thank Dr. Xiu-Min Li, a highly talented, passionate, and extremely caring food allergy scientist/clinician for taking the time to make this piece possible!

In other news: What happens in Vegas, won't stay in Vegas!

I will be attending the first ever Food Allergy Blogger Conference in Las Vegas (Nov. 2 - Nov. 4)!  This was a labor of love by two food allergy bloggers themselves, Jenny at Multiple Food Allergy Help and Homa at Oh Mah Deeness.  The list of speakers and attendees is extraordinary, and I wish that everyone out there could be in attendance.  Since this isn't the case, why not use modern technology to "be there."  I will be using Twitter (along with many other bloggers!) to live tweet conference details.  Selena at Amazing and Atopic wrote a fabulous, visual post explaining how you can get updates from all the bloggers tweeting the conference.  In addition, it contains all of those tweets embedded in a post that is live updating on her blog.  If you aren't a fan of twitter, you can check out her blog throughout the conference and see the live tweets!

If you are not familiar with Twitter but would consider getting an account, it involves all those #(insert favorite word/phrase here) pervading our culture (thank you Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon).  In this case, #FABlogCon will be used!  You can search for #FABlogCon or click on it at any time, and you will see all tweets from anyone using this "hashtag" even if you do not follow them on Twitter!  I signed up for Twitter last winter (against every fiber of my being) because of live tweets from the #AAAAI conference - @FdAllergySleuth.  It really was cool to see all the live tweets of cutting edge scientific findings coming from conference attendees.  I was finally convinced that , yes, Twitter does have a purpose after all! 

Oh and last, but not least - a huge shout out to my family and amazing husband/partner in crime for making this possible.  Traveling or leaving family behind while dealing with life-threatening food allergies (and two small children!) can be stressful to say the least. 

See you all soon - whether you are in Vegas or on Twitter!