2009 Volume 58 Issue 2 Pages 163-170
To initiate, monitor, and complete effective immunotherapy, biomarkers to predict and visualize the immune responses are needed. First, we need to identify the right candidate for immunotherapy. Secondly, the immune responses induced by immunotherapy should be monitored. For the first objective, analysis of polymorphisms of candidate genes may be helpful, but still be in development. Regarding biomarkers for immune responsese, there are numerous reports that evaluate immunotherapy-induced immune changes such as suppression of effector cells, deviation to Th1 cytokine production, and induction of regulatory T cells. No standardized methods, however, have been established. Among them, a functional assay of blocking IgG activity, the IgE-facilitated allergen binding assay, may be useful. We quantitated induced expression of an activation marker, CD203c, on basophils and found that the assay efficiently predicts sensitivity to particular allergen and severity of the allergen-induced symptoms. In patients who received rush immunotherapy for Japanese cedar pollinosis, reduction in CD203c expression after the therapy was observed, suggesting the utility of the test for monitoring immunotherapy.
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