As any parent of a child who suffers from allergies knows, they can be terrifying. The anxiety is exacerbated by knowing that an apparently benign substance in the environment, harmless to many, could hurt your son or daughter.
Among the many innovative clinical trials at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital clinical trial unit in southeast London, the paediatric allergy consultant Dr Marta Krawiec and her team immersed themselves in peanut allergy.
They treated it with oral immunotherapy, in which small amounts of the allergen are given to children to enable them to build a potentially life-saving tolerance. Starting with doses as low as a thousandth of a peanut to gauge the extent of the allergy, they would ask the young patients to return at regular