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Patients Sought for Clinical Trials on Year-round Allergies

Patients Sought for Clinical Trials on Year-round Allergies

Creighton University is one of only two test sites nationwide for a novel clinical trial using an intranasal, carbon-dioxide treatment that may someday spell better relief for millions of Americans suffering from perennial allergic rhinitis.

Those with perennial allergic rhinitis are sensitive to allergens that they are exposed to 12 months a year, including pets, insects such as cockroaches, dust or mold. Symptoms – runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing or nasal congestion – can become more severe this time of year as people begin to spend more time indoors and close windows, increasing their exposure to these allergens.

“If you have hay fever, it lasts a short time. These symptoms (for perennial allergic rhinitis) are year round, which makes them a harder nut to crack,” said Thomas Casale, M.D., chief of Creighton University’s Center for Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and principal investigator for the new study. Casale is president-elect of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Creighton is seeking 250 patients for the study. To be eligible, patients must be 18-65 years old; allergic to pets, insects, dust or mold; have a two-year history of perennial allergic rhinitis; and require some form of medication.

The study involves two visits. The first visit will be to screen patients and determine their eligibility. The second visit will occur Nov. 4 or Nov. 5, when patients will randomly receive the carbon dioxide treatment or a placebo. For the next 24 hours, patients will record symptoms of their allergies.

Casale noted that allergic rhinitis is a serious health problem in the United States and on the rise, costing an estimated $4.5 billion annually in direct costs and $3.5 billion in indirect costs such as lost productivity and missed work and school days.

An estimated 20-40 million Americans, including as many as 40 percent of all children and 20-30 percent of adults, suffer from allergic rhinitis.

For more information or to participate in the study, call (402) 280-5975 or send an e-mail to casalej@creighton.edu.

Posted: 10/24/06