Thirty-one adult patients with asthma caused by house-dust mites (HDM) were included in this placebo-controlled, double-blind study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of specific immunotherapy (SIT) with biologically standardized extracts of HDM. The specific diagnosis was confirmed by skin prick tests, specific IgE, and bronchial provocation tests with HDM allergens. The patients were randomized to receive active treatment with extracts of either Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Dpt) or D. farinae (Dfa) (Alutard SQ, ALK, Denmark) or placebo injections. Twenty-three patients completed the study. After 1 year of treatment, we found a clinically important and significant reduction in both asthma medicine consumption (inhaled steroids 38% and beta 2-agonists 46%) and symptom score (57%) in the actively treated group, but not the placebo group. These findings were confirmed by a significant decrease in skin and bronchial sensitivity to HDM in the active group. Additionally, there was a significant difference in the patients' scores for effect in favor of the actively treated group. Total IgE and specific IgE to HDM showed no significant changes before and after treatment for either group. Spirometric lung-function measurements showed a significant increase in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) from 85% before to 89% of predicted values after treatment for the actively treated group. Peak-flow measurements at home showed no significant changes during the study. It is concluded that allergen SIT is an effective treatment in adult patients suffering from asthma due to HDM.
There seems to be a resistance of patients and physicians towards aggressive diagnostic evaluation of the symptoms of lung cancer in young people. We here review nine series of young patients with primary lung cancer. Patients below 40 years of age represent between 1.2 and 5% of the total lung cancer population. The distribution of sex and histopathologic findings is different, there being more women, fewer cases of squamous cell and more cases of small anaplastic and adenocarcinoma in the young group. Between 87 and 96% are smokers. There is a delay from the debut of symptoms to the first contact with a general physician of 2.4 to 10.8 months. There is a wide variation concerning tendency to operate with a frequency of curative resection of between 15 and 57%. Based on the survival of young patients who are treated by curative surgical resection, the outcome of surgical treatment for young patients does not differ from the general experience concerning resection in patients of all ages. Young patients who are found inoperable have worse survival than the older patients. Seventy to 90%, more than in the group of patients of all ages, have stadium II or III at the time of diagnosis. In conclusion, physicians should be aggressive with respect to the diagnostic evaluation even of young patients with symptoms suggestive of lung cancer.