Large-scale survey says Avastin safe

November 1, 2006

Off-label intravitreal injections of bevacizumab (Avastin), for the treatment of neovascular and exudative ocular disease, appears to be safe, according to the results of an internet survey published in July issue of the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Large-scale survey says Avastin safe

Off-label intravitreal injections of bevacizumab (Avastin), for the treatment of neovascular and exudative ocular disease, appears to be safe, according to the results of an internet survey published in July issue of the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Anne Fung and researchers from Pacific Eye Associates, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and the Tufts New England Eye Center, United States, created an Internet-based survey designed to identify adverse events (AEs) associated with intravitreal bevacizumab therapy. The survey web address was sent to the international vitreoretinal community via email and rates of AEs were calculated from participant responses.

Off-label use of bevacizumab has been occurring since May 2005 but this is the first large-scale study of adverse events, associated with its use. These short-term results seem to suggest it is a safe treatment option.

Wet AMD costs Europe €3.2 billion per year

Wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) costs European countries up to €3.2 billion per year, according to a presentation given at the joint meeting of the American Society of Retinal Specialists and European VitreoRetinal Society in Cannes, France.

The results showed that those with AMD require assistance with everyday activities at a rate of four times greater than those without the disease (29% vs. 7%) and are twice as likely to fall, requiring medical assistance (16% vs. 8.3%). The study also found that the direct and indirect costs related to the care and treatment of those with AMD varied by country but were always significantly higher than those incurred by the control group.

Professor Soubrane concluded by remarking that the economic burden of caring for those with wet AMD could be eased through earlier detection and improved access to new, effective treatments.

AMD genes identified

Researchers have discovered a way to more accurately identify those at risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

A study conducted at Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, found that people with a deletion of two key genes have a lower risk of developing AMD. It is hoped that this research may help in the development of a preventative treatment based on gene silencing.

The bioptics advantage

Reverse bioptics with phakic intraocular lenses (IOLs) or refractive lens exchange can be successfully used to correct regressed corneal surgery, according to the results of a review published in the August issue of Current Opinion in Ophthalmology.

Antonio Leccisotti of the Ophthalmic Surgery Unit, Casa di Cura Rugani, Siena, Italy, conducted a review of the most recent research into bioptics. His research suggested that, in myopia and hyperopia, bioptics with phakic IOLs or refractive lens exchange and subsequent excimer laser treatment offer a similar safety profile and improved predictability compared with sole IOL surgery, with complications relating mainly to the IOLs. With regards to keratoconus and pellucid marginal degeneration, intracorneal rings have been successfully combined with phacoemulsification or with phakic IOLs in just a limited number of eyes.