Drug Hypersensitivity and Desensitizations: Mechanisms and New Approaches

Leticia de Las Vecillas Sánchez, Leila A Alenazy, Marlene Garcia-Neuer, Mariana C Castells
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2017 June 20, 18 (6)
Drug hypersensitivity reactions (HSRs) are increasing in the 21st Century with the ever expanding availability of new therapeutic agents. Patients with cancer, chronic inflammatory diseases, cystic fibrosis, or diabetes can become allergic to their first line therapy after repeated exposures or through cross reactivity with environmental allergens. Avoidance of the offending allergenic drug may impact disease management, quality of life, and life expectancy. Precision medicine provides new tools for the understanding and management of hypersensitivity reactions (HSRs), as well as a personalized treatment approach for IgE (Immunoglobuline E) and non-IgE mediated HSRs with drug desensitization (DS). DS induces a temporary hyporesponsive state by incremental escalation of sub-optimal doses of the offending drug. In vitro models have shown evidence that IgE desensitization is an antigen-specific process which blocks calcium flux, impacts antigen/IgE/FcεRI complex internalization and prevents the acute and late phase reactions as well as mast cell mediator release. Through a "bench to bedside" approach, in vitro desensitization models help elucidate the molecular pathways involved in DS, providing new insights to improved desensitization protocols for all patients. The aim of this review is to summarize up to date information on the drug HSRs, the IgE mediated mechanisms of desensitization, and their clinical applications.

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