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Milk Desensitization in Children

Study Purpose

This study will assess a novel and potentially life-changing therapy, by actively treating Cow's Milk Allergy (CMA) using Oral Immunotherapy, which may allow patients to safely consume milk and other dairy products.

Recruitment Criteria

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Healthy volunteers are participants who do not have a disease or condition, or related conditions or symptoms

Study Type

An interventional clinical study is where participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes.

An observational clinical study is where participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes.

Searching Both is inclusive of interventional and observational studies.

Eligible Ages 6 Years - 20 Years
Gender All
More Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

1. A history suggestive of IgE-mediated allergy to milk. An IgE-mediated reaction to a specific food is defined as a minimum of 2 mild symptoms and/or 1 moderate and/or 1 severe symptom that began within 1-20 minutes after ingestion or contact. Mild IgE-mediated symptoms include: pruritus, urticaria, flushing, or rhinoconjunctivitis. Moderate symptoms include angioedema (of face or lips), throat tightness, gastrointestinal complaints (vomiting, cramping, pain and/or diarrhea), or airway involvement (cough, nasal blockage, mucous ); severe symptoms include bronchospasm, wheezing, hypoxia, cyanosis, low blood pressure, or circulatory collapse (shock) (appendix A ,table 1) (61). 2. The presence of at least one of the following confirmatory tests:
  • - (a) Positive skin prick test to milk (weal diameter 3 mm larger than that of the normal saline control).
The allergen used will be commercially available milk extracts (Omega Labs, Montreal, QC). Skin tests will traced in ink, tape transferred to paper and wheal diameter measured by computer assisted planometry.
  • - (b) Detection of serum specific IgE (>0.35 kU/L) to milk or any of its proteins, measured by fluorescence enzyme immunoassay (Immunocap, Phadia, Uppsala, Sweden).
The range for Immuncap is 0.35
  • - 100 and changes over time can be monitored effectively.
3. Informed consent form signed by the parents or legal guardian

Exclusion Criteria:

1. Patients with uncontrolled asthma or other uncontrolled respiratory diseases . 2. Malignancies, autoimmune diseases and/or severe primary or secondary immune deficiencies. 3. Patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy. 4. Patients receiving β-blockers (including topical formulations). 5. Associated diseases contraindicating the use of epinephrine: cardiovascular disease or severe hypertension.

Trial Details

Trial ID:

This trial id was obtained from ClinicalTrials.gov, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, providing information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants with locations in all 50 States and in 196 countries.


Phase 1: Studies that emphasize safety and how the drug is metabolized and excreted in humans.

Phase 2: Studies that gather preliminary data on effectiveness (whether the drug works in people who have a certain disease or condition) and additional safety data.

Phase 3: Studies that gather more information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages and by using the drug in combination with other drugs.

Phase 4: Studies occurring after FDA has approved a drug for marketing, efficacy, or optimal use.

Lead Sponsor

The sponsor is the organization or person who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.

McGill University Health Centre/Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre
Principal Investigator

The person who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the entire clinical study.

Principal Investigator Affiliation N/A
Agency Class

Category of organization(s) involved as sponsor (and collaborator) supporting the trial.

Overall Status Recruiting
Countries Canada

The disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury that is being studied.

Cow Milk Allergy
Additional Details

This is a randomized control study with a cross-over design. Eighty four boys and girls with between 6 to 20 years of age, diagnosed with IgE-mediated cow's milk allergy using strict skin testing and serological criteria, will be recruited for this study. 42 will undergo oral immunotherapy, while 42 will be followed as natural history controls but will be offered similar therapy, should it be successful, at the completion of one year. OIT subjects will initaiate therapy with a 2-day rush desensitization treatment using oral doses of milk, in the investigator's Clinical Investigation Unit. They will then continue the highest tolerated dose of milk at home for two weeks. Subsequently, they will return for weekly increases in doses until a maximum of 200 ml of milk is ingested daily. The primary clinical outcome will be a comparison of the amount of milk consumed safely on oral challenge performed prior to OIT, when the OIT dose has reached its maximum (200 ml or highest tolerated dose) and after one year of therapy. Patients will also be followed with clinical symptom scores and adverse event diarie. Their immunological parameters such as changes in milk-specific IgE, blocking antibodies (IgG4 and IgA) and regulatory T and B cells will also be monitored. It is expected that there will be important improvement in the ability to safely ingest milk and other dairy products, and this will be accompanied by significant decreases in IgE and increases in Regulatory T and B cells.

Arms & Interventions


No Intervention: Control

Following randomization, this arm will receive no intervention. After twelve months, participants in this group will undergo a singe-blind, placebo-controlled oral food challenge

Experimental: Treatment

Following randomization, participants in this group will receive escalating doses milk, up to a daily dose of 200 ml. Once they attain that dose, they will maintain it for one month. At the end of this period, they will undergo a open challenge to 300 ml of milk. They will then enter a year-long follow-up period


Other: - Oral Immunotherapy

Starting from a very low level and over a period of several months, participants in the treatment group receive escalating doses of milk. Participants will also have blood and saliva draws to assess parameters of their immune system as well as skin prick testing

Contact a Trial Team

If you are interested in learning more about this trial, find the trial site nearest to your location and contact the site coordinator via email or phone. We also strongly recommend that you consult with your healthcare provider about the trials that may interest you and refer to our terms of service below.

International Sites

MUHC, Montreal, Quebec, Canada





Montreal, Quebec, H4A3J1

Site Contact

Duncan Lejtenyi, MSc


514-934-1934 #22369

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