BACKGROUND: Allergen-specific immunotherapy is generally accepted as the only causal therapy for allergic rhinitis. Up to now there has been a dogma in immunotherapy for inhalation allergies that at least allergen components are necessary for effective therapy. This dogma could, however, be swayed by current results of effective immunotherapy without allergens. Virus-like particles (VLP) represent a novel and interesting aspect for immunotherapy for inhalation allergies.
AIM: Initial experiences with successful immunotherapy without allergens are available. This article describes the currently available clinical experiences with bacteriophage VLPs filled with oligonucleotides which contain CpG motifs with tumor antigens on the surface for the treatment of allergic rhinitis.
RESULTS: Vaccination with VLPs was found to be well tolerated, immunogenic and effective for prophylactic treatment of various infections. Bacteriophage VLPs filled with CpG motifs with tumor antigens on the surface led clinically to an induction of specific T-cells in tumor patients and were successfully implemented as adjuvants during prophylactic vaccinations.
CONCLUSION: The VLP technique in combination with the use of CpG motifs could contribute to the causal treatment of complex diseases, such as malignancies, autoimmune diseases and allergies.