AUSTIN, Texas - December is here. With it comes the holiday season, and soon -- cedar fever season.
Thanks to an early freeze, Dr. Christopher Thompson of Aspire Allergy & Sinus says “we’ll probably get higher levels [of cedar pollen] a little earlier,” this year.
Thanks to a groundbreaking new treatment, Texans have a new way to fight back.
Approximately two decades ago, a group of Swiss researchers developed what is now known as ExACT Immunoplasty, a series of three shots where an allergen is injected directly into a lymph node. With traditional allergy shots, an allergen is injected under the skin with the intent of reaching lymph nodes.
“We’re kind of bypassing all of that middle ground. Like we’re not going into the skin and expecting a little bit to get into the lymph node. We can go directly into the lymph node and rapidly accelerate the results of the treatment,” said Thompson.
Last year, Thompson's practice, Aspire Allergy & Sinus helped bring the therapy to the United States. They conducted their own study -- and hundreds of patients have undergone treatment since. Thompson says they’re already seeing results.
“What’s really been surprising about the therapy is, we’ve had a lot of patients tell us that they’ve noticed improvement after the first injection. Which, you know, we don’t really have anything to compare it to. But, it’s unheard of with allergy shots or allergy drops.”
Price-wise, allergy shots, drops, and ExACT Immunoplasty are in the same $2000 to $2500 ballpark pre-insurance. Though it’s common for insurance to cover shots, it is less so for drops -- and unheard of, for ExACT Immunoplasty, as it’s so new.
“I’m super excited about it obviously I think it could change the whole allergy treatment industry.” said Thompson. “The three treatments over two months are equivalent or better than three to five years of traditional allergy therapy, it appears to be as safe or safer, and as durable, so it lasts a similar amount of time.”
ExACT Immunoplasty is not just limited to cedar -- it can be used to treat most environmental allergies.