New Treatment For Macular Degeneration

With the threat of eight million people being at high risk for advanced Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD), the search for a Macular Degeneration Cure is pressing. Currently, the gold standard treatment for Wet ARMD is monthly injections into the eye.

From the myriad of Macular Degeneration Clinical Trials is emerging New Treatment for Macular Degeneration which may hold the cure to this visual devastating Eye Disease.

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What are some of the potential New Treatment for Macular Degeneration?

  • Avastin® is used off-label for ARMD and is not FDA approved for this purpose. The battle rages on between Avastin® vs. Lucentis® with cost being one of the major differentiators between the two.
  • Retinostat: a gene delivery system which uses a LentiVector® system to deliver two anti-angiogenesis genes, endostatin and angiostatin, to the retinal pigment epithelium. Animal models using mice have demonstrated these genes to be able to reduce the size of CNVMs.
  • Because current therapies for Wet ARMD require monthly injections into the eye, the prospect of a single injection of Retinostat potentially stopping blood vessel growth for several years is encouraging as a means of reducing the treatment burden on patients.

    Studies are moving from animal models to human Clinical Trials in a study that began in February 2011 and has an estimated primary completion date of June 2012.

    The purpose of this first human study is to examine the safety of Retinostat. The inclusion criteria are as follows:

    (A)Clinical diagnosis of Wet ARMD with active CNVMs that show evidence of leakage.

    (B)Best corrected visual acuity less than or equal to 20/200 in the study eye.

  • Nutrition plays an important role in risk reduction of Wet ARMD. Lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids, primarily found in dark green leafy vegetables, are among the best risk reducing naturally occurring substance for ARMD.
  • Agents resulting from Genetic Advances or exhibiting VEGF inhibition are currently being studied as Experimental Treatments for ARMD.
  • Many agents are being studied in Macular Degeneration Clinical Trials and research.
  • A Macular Degeneration Cure may rest on one of the many drugs being investigated that have any of the following mechanisms:

  • Visual Cycle Modulation
  • Neuroprotection
  • Complement Inhibition
  • Nutritional Supplementation
  • Is surgery the answer to New Treatment for Macular Degeneration?

  • Stem Cell Research is fueling hope that a Macular Degeneration Cure may be possible.
  • (1)The FDA has approved a clinical trial of human embryonic stem-cell treatments on patients who have suffered vision loss related to Dry ARMD.

    (2)The finding of human induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cells has opened a new avenue for the treatment of degenerative diseases, like ARMD, by using the patient’s own stem cells to generate tissues and cells for transplantation.

    (3)A Phase I/II open-label study on twelve patients at multiple clinical locations to determine the safety and tolerability of the treatment is being initiated by the Advanced Cell Technology of Massachusetts.

  • Combining surgery with current drug therapy is another new treatment for macular degeneration being investigated in order to reduce the treatment burden on patients. An example of this option is the use of strontium-90-beta radiation.
  • (1)A study began in November 2009 with an estimated primary completion date of November 2013, which involves a focal dose of radiation (Epimacular Brachytherapy) to the Macula to try to reduce or eliminate the need for ongoing, regular eye injections.

    (2)Epimacular Brachytherapy involves inserting a probe inside the eye and then directing the radiation from the probe directly to the center of the Macula.

    (3)The purpose of this study is to compare Epimacular Brachytherapy to ongoing standard treatment with Lucentis® alone.

  • Intraocular Lenses for Visually Impaired People (IOL VIP) is a surgical procedure developed in Milan by Low Vision specialists and ophthalmologists.

    This surgery consists of two artificial lenses inserted into the eye. The natural Crystalline Lens behind the iris is removed and replaced with an artificial one, which diverts images from the scarred Macula to healthy retinal tissue.

    The second lens is then placed in front of the Iris. Together, the two lenses act as a telescope, allowing the images to be focused and processed to the optic nerve and sent to the brain.

    The procedure can be as brief as 30 minutes. Stabilization of vision can take up to 12 weeks. Computer vision training is used to train the eye and get the best possible outcome. This procedure is a viable option on a case by case basis.

  • None of these procedures have become widespread or conventional and much more research is necessary, but they do provide hope for those who have experienced vision loss from ARMD.



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