First EAACI/GA2LEN Allergy School "Allergy and Immunotherapy" took place in DRK-Kliniken Westend in Berlin, Germany on 21-23 October 2010. 73 attendees from 28 countries participated in this school organized by Dr Jörg Kleine Tebbe with generous support from European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) and the European Allergen Manufacturers Group (EAMG) . The focus of the school was allergen specific immunotherapy, and experts from Europe and America shared their knowledge and experience in respiratory allergic diseases, specific diagnostic of allergy, basic immunology of allergy and mechanisms of specific immunotherapy, commercial allergen extracts, evidences for subcutaneous, sublingual specific immunotherapy, its safely in adults and children. The content of the school was distributed between oral presentations, parallel sessions with rotation of participants, practical demonstrations of skin prick and provocation testing, case studies using interactive computer voting system introduced by Dr Randolph Brehler. This system enabled performing real time questionnaires among participants with on screen statistics. Within three days distinguished doctors and scientists actively interacted and discussed important issues of immunotherapy with junior colleagues. First day was dedicated to questions of epidemiology and diagnostics and testing of allergic diseases and comprised lectures by Lars Jacobsen, Paolo Matricardi, Hans-Jorgen Malling, Jörg Kleine-Tebbe, Steven Stapel. During this session the audience was involved in discussion based on the latest literature data on dust mite allergy, food allergy, specific oral tolerance induction as treatment of food allergy, pathophysiology and specific treatment of allergic asthma, rhinitis and asthma, role of IgE and IgG and guidelines for SIT. It was followed by “Political Berlin sightseeing tour” which continued with traditional German dinner. The program of the second day started with the session “Allergens, ins & outs” during which Lars Jacobson & Jorgen Larsen provided a joint presentation on allergen nomenclature, allergen sources, standardization, followed by talks from representatives of pharmaceutical companies Andreas Nandy and Phillippe Moingeon who disclosed many “secrets” of manufacturing including chemical modification of allergens, and production of recombinant allergens - allergoids. Next session included lectures on antibodies given by Steven Stapel, tolerance induction by dendritic cells in immunotherapy by Jean Pierre Alam, and mechanisms of SIT by Stephen Durham. The afternoon session started with poster presentations and live discussions between juniors and experts,. The evening continued with bus tour guided by Jörg Kleine-Tebbe to the cozy club "Ritter Butzke” where in living room - "Wohnzimmer" participants enjoyed lovely music, Turkish dinner and scientific discussions with each-other. Early start of next morning session with almost 100% attendance underlined the importance of the topic on European regulations of allergen extracts and products for immunotherapy by vice president of Paul Ehrlich Institute Stefan Vieths, with long discussion among experts and participants, among whom by chance was a representative from EMA, who clarified many difficult points. Next fascinating session was presented by Lars Jacobson who presented European views on SIT and Desiree Larenas-Linnemann – Chair of the AAAAI Immunotherapy, Allergen Standardization and Allergy Diagnostics Committee who talked about similarities and differences of SIT approaches in Europe and US, followed by Randolph Brehler who was talking about allergy and quality of life, costs and optimization of symptomatic allergy treatment and immunotherapy, Hans Jorgen Malling who explained risks and safety aspects of immunotherapy and Margitta Warm told us what to do in case of adverse reactions during immunotherapy, then Jean-Pierre Alam summarized the future options for immunotherapy. The last session of the school was, according to participants opinion the most important, there Jorg Kleine-Tebbe, Michael Rudenko, Margitta Worm and other experts shared their experience on how to start immunotherapy practice from the very beginning.This allergy school had great success and the pool of participated experts contributed to the creation of EAACI booklet on specific immunotherapy. This school laid the basement of the future allergy schools on immunotherapy thanks to the hard work of the organizing committee and active participation of invited speakers and juniors. We thank all of the speakers, participants and faculty for their outstanding support who made this meeting a memorable event. We look forward to hosting the next Immunotherapy school in Saariselkä, Finland in 2011.
EAACI/GA2LEN Allergy School "Allergy and Immunotherapy"