Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, May 5-9, 2013
The annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology was held from May 5 to 9 in Seattle and attracted more than 12,000 participants from around the world, including clinicians, academicians, allied health professionals, and others interested in vision and ophthalmology. The conference highlighted recent advances in the fields of vision and ophthalmology, with presentations focusing on the latest research in amblyopia, cataracts, glaucoma, macular edema, myopia, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and diabetic retinopathy.
In the French Evaluation Group Avastin Versus Lucentis (GEFAL) study, Laurent Kodjikian, M.D., Ph.D., of the Hospices Civils de Lyon in France, and colleagues evaluated the relative efficacy and safety of bevacizumab versus ranibizumab intravitreal injections for the treatment of neovascular AMD.
"Bevacizumab and ranibizumab were equivalent for visual acuity at final evaluation, with a mean of approximately seven injections necessary per year, whatever the drug," said Kodjikian. "We found rapid and substantial decreases in thickness and fluid with both drugs. Neither drug eliminated fluid in all eyes, although 'more retinas were completely dry' with ranibizumab."
One author disclosed financial ties to Genentech, the manufacturer of ranibizumab.
In another study, Allen Clermont, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues found that gene deletion of plasma kallikrein does not affect normal physiologic functions and is effective in preventing the physical effects of diabetic macular edema (DME) upon the retina.
"Current therapy recommendations for treatment of DME include both laser photocoagulation and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) treatment. While effective singly or in combination, there remains a subset of patients who are recurrent or do not respond to therapy," said Clermont. "Using proteomics to screen proteins from the vitreous of DME patients, we have identified plasma kallikrein as a mediator of DME independent of VEGF. In the current study, we demonstrate that diabetic mice with a plasma kallikrein gene deletion have normalized retinal permeability and retinal thickness in comparison to wild-type mice."
Clermont and colleagues plan to confirm that patients who are non-responsive to conventional treatment for DME correlate with an activated plasma kallikrein. Potentially, these patients may be treated with inhibitors of plasma kallikrein or the kallikrein-kinin system.
Emily Chew, M.D., of the National Eye Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues evaluated adding additional nutrients to a previously developed vitamin/mineral formulation for the treatment and prevention of AMD.
"We had previously used a vitamin/mineral formulation (consisting of vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, and zinc) and we now evaluated the use of that formulation with two new additions -- omega 3 fatty acids and lutein/zeaxanthin. Basically, we were looking to improve the original formulation," said Chew. "When we compared lutein/zeaxanthin directly with a vitamin that was in the original formulation, beta-carotene, we found that there was a 20 percent reduction in the risk of developing advanced AMD. In AREDS2, for the first time, we found that beta-carotene increased the risk of lung cancer in former smokers. We found lutein/zeaxanthin were efficacious and did not increase the risk of lung cancer. Therefore, we believe that lutein/zeaxanthin should be substituted for beta-carotene, which should be eliminated in this new formulation."
ARVO: Additional Nutrients Do Not Reduce Progression to AMD
WEDNESDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- Adding carotenoids, omega-3 fatty acids, or both to an antioxidant formulation of vitamins and minerals previously shown to be effective in reducing the risk of progression to advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) does not further lower the risk, according to a study published online May 5 in the Journal of the American Medical Association to coincide with presentation at the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, held from May 5 to 9 in Seattle.