Treating peanut allergy with regular exposure to small amounts of the food is effective – but only if a patient stays on the therapy, a study suggests.

King’s College London scientists looked at the underlying behavior of patients’ cells – and found it did not change. They say that shows immunotherapy offers “protection but not a cure” for peanut allergies. Allergy UK said that, even so, the treatment was a “positive step.”

In this study researchers, from King’s and Evelina London Children’s Hospital, wanted to see how cells behaved, so they could see if patients were still allergic and so needed to continue treatment or if they were no longer allergic and could eat peanuts without worrying.

In the study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, they tested samples from 14 patients before and after treatment.

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