EURETINA 2022 in review: A showcase of retinal revelations in Hamburg

A synopsis of the findings presented at EURETINA 2022 for ophthalmologists and retina specialists.

RGX-314 provided 2-Step or more improvement in diabetic severity in Phase 2 Altitude study analysis

A gene therapy evaluated for diabetic retinopathy (DR), RGX-314 (REGENXBIO), may provide sustained clinical outcomes for treating DR. A major advantage is that this treatment can be administered once into the suprachoroidal space in an office setting, which markedly reduces the treatment burden, according to Dr Mark Barakat.

The Phase 2 Altitude study, an open-label, randomized, controlled, dose-escalation evaluation of RGX-314. It was conducted at 18 retina practices nationally and evaluated the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of suprachoroidal delivery of RGX-314 using the SCS Microinjector (Clearside Biomedical) in patients with moderately severe/severe non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) or mild PDR.

Using this treatment, an adeno-associated virus 8 vector delivers a transgene for a soluble anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) fab which is designed to provide continuous anti-VEGF therapy.

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First analysis of gene therapy for RPE65 inherited retinal dystrophies shows good safety, efficacy

French researchers, led by Dr Isabelle Audo reported that voretigene neparvovec (VN) (Luxturna, Spark Therapeutics), used to treat patients with a RPE65-related inherited retinal dystrophy, showed good safety and efficacy at the 1-year time point of the LIGHT Study.

Mutations in the RPE65 gene and loss of gene function causes photoreceptor dysfunction and degeneration, leading to blindness. VN is the first gene therapy for this patient population.

The LIGHT study, Dr Audo described, is a descriptive, non-interventional study in which VN was administered at a dose of 1.5 x 1011 vector genomes that were delivered in a total subretinal volume of 0.3 ml.

Both eyes of the patients were treated on separate days and at least 6 days apart. Follow-up examinations were conducted at 1, 3-, 6-, 12- and 24-months following gene therapy in the second eye. At these time points, the investigators evaluated the treatment efficacy and safety and collected the patients’ postoperative experience.

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EURETINA leadership discusses what to expect at the 2022 Congress, outlines Women in Retina programme

Dara Conlon, Executive Vice President of EURETINA, and Prof. Anat Loewenstein, General Secretary of EURETINA, discuss some key features of this year's Congress.

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Managing silicone oil-related complications following vitreoretinal surgery

Vision loss associated with a silicone oil endotamponade in vitreoretinal surgery is a rare yet underreported complication, but it is becoming increasingly important as technical refinements of the surgical procedure progress along with the increasing visual expectations of individual patients. Historically, silicone oil tamponade has been used in complicated cases of vitreoretinal surgery with a significantly reduced visual prognosis. Recurrent retinal detachments and proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) retinal detachments and giant retinal holes have always been the main indications when considering silicone oil tamponades. European investigators describe how they address complications.

Read the summary of the panel here

Hair cortisol may act as molecular biomarker for retinitis pigmentosa patients

Dr Milagros Mateos and colleagues from the Department of Ophthalmology of Clinical University Hospital of Valladolid and the Institute of Applied Ophthalmobiology, University of Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain, reported that the concentration of cortisol in hair may be an effective biomarker associated with chronic stress in patients with retinitis pigmentosa.

The authors explained that patients with RP experience greater levels of stress and anxiety than individuals in the general population and that the level of stress can be measured easily and non-invasively in hair. The stress is associated with the progressive and unpredictable and variable vision loss associated with the disease.

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Link discovered between retinitis pigmentosa and increased risk of primary open-angle glaucoma

Retinitis pigmentosa and primary angle-closure glaucomaare genetic diseases with similar genetic variants and pathophysiology between them. The investigators explained that elevated angle-closure-related intraocular pressure (IOP) may aggregate the visual impairment in patients with retinitis pigmentosa, so they wanted to determine if patients with retinitis pigmentosa have a significantly higher risk of PACG development. This knowledge may facilitate for early intervention in these patients.

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Music creates soothing effect for babies during retinopathy of prematurity examinations

Researchers from Turkey reported that the introduction of white noise and music had a beneficial effect during examinations of preterm infants with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).

The investigators conducted a 1-year study from August 2020 to August 2021 to determine how white noise and classical music affected pain and physiologic parameters while examining infants with ROP in a neonatal intensive care unit.

Ninety preterm infants were included and evenly and randomly divided into three groups: the control group, the white noise group, and the classical music group.

The infants’ responses to pain were evaluated using the Premature Infant Pain Profile.

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Visual symptoms after COVID-19 suggest retinal involvement

Retinal involvement following a COVID-19 infection is rare but can happen after severe infections in immunocompetent individuals, according to Dr Yusar Asad and colleagues from the Vitreoretinal Services, Centre for Sight, Delhi, India.

The research team conducted a retrospective review of consecutive patients presenting with retinal manifestations attributable to COVID-19 between May 2020 and June 2021.

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