Thorax 69:94-96 doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2013-203738
  • Chest clinic
  • Opinion

Against all odds: anti-IgE for intrinsic asthma?

Open Access
  1. Johann Christian Virchow1
  1. 1Department of Pneumology and Critical Care Medicine, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany
  2. 2Pulmonary Department, Mainz University Hospital, Mainz, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marek Lommatzsch, Abteilung für Pneumologie und Internistische Intensivmedizin, Zentrum für Innere Medizin, Universität Rostock, Ernst-Heydemann-Str. 6, Rostock 18057, Germany; marek.lommatzsch{at}
  • Received 14 April 2013
  • Revised 19 April 2013
  • Accepted 26 April 2013
  • Published Online First 24 May 2013


For many years, pathogenetic concepts and the results of clinical trials supported the view that anti-IgE treatment is specifically effective in allergic asthma. However, there is now growing clinical and mechanistic evidence suggesting that treatment with the anti-IgE antibody omalizumab can be effective in patients with intrinsic asthma. Therefore, large and well-controlled clinical trials with anti-IgE are urgently warranted in patients with intrinsic asthma. In addition, there is a need to find new biomarkers which can identify patients with asthma who respond to anti-IgE treatment.

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