Lucentis found effective in treatment of proliferative diabetic retinopathy
“These latest results from the DRCR Network provide crucial evidence for a safe and effective alternative to laser therapy against proliferative diabetic retinopathy,” Dr. Paul Sieving, director of the National Institute of Health's (NIH) National Eye Institute (NEI), said.
NEI was the organization that provided funding for the trial.
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes in which the blood vessels in the retina in the back of the eye are damaged. As the condition progresses, blood vessels are prone to swelling and cease to function properly. When the condition becomes proliferative, the eyes begin to produce vascular endothelial growth factor, which leads to new, abnormal blood vessels in the center of the eye that bleed and can cause scarring and detached retinas.
Lucentis works by blocking the effects of vascular endothelial growth factor.
The results of the study were recently published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In the study, Lucentis was compared with panretinal or scatter photocoagulation, a kind of laser therapy. Laser therapy has been the most frequently used therapy for treating proliferative diabetic retinopathy for decades, but it has side effects -- such as damaging side or night vision.
Lucentis is typically prescribed for the treatment of diabetic macular edema, a build-up of fluid in the central area of the retina.
"Lucentis should be considered a viable treatment option for people with proliferative diabetic retinopathy, especially for individuals needing anti-vascular endothelial growth factor for diabetic macular edema,” Dr. Jeffrey Gross, chair of the study, said.
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