Ranibizumab proves effective to treat proliferative diabetic retinopathy

Written by  Newseditor

The FINANCIAL — Ranibizumab injections may be an effective alternative treatment for proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) when compared with laser treatment, according to a new study in JAMA.
When left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness.
To prevent damage, patients with the most advanced form—proliferative diabetic retinopathy—often undergo panretinal photocoagulation (PRP), in which a laser burns and seals or destroys leaking blood vessels and prevents new blood vessels from forming. PRP is effective at lowering the risk of severe vision loss, but it also can severely damage a patient’s peripheral vision and night vision and can worsen diabetic macular edema (DME).
“The [laser] protocol prevents blindness but often diminishes quality of life,” says A. Paul Chous, O.D., optometric representative to the National Diabetes Education Program of the National Institutes of Health who practices in Tacoma, Washington.
Ranibizumab, already used to treat other retinal vascular diseases, does not lead to these visual function side effects and may even improve visual acuity slightly. In this study, 305 adults with PDR at 55 U.S. sites were randomly assigned to receive PRP or 0.5 mg of ranibizumab. PRP treatment was completed in one to three visits, while ranibizumab was given as frequently as every four weeks depending on the patient’s response and pre-specified treatment protocol.
What the study shows
Over the study’s two-year period, the mean visual acuity letter score improvement from baseline was +2.8 in the ranibizumab group and +0.2 in the PRP group, proving that ranibizumab was noninferior to PRP. The laser group also experienced significantly more loss of visual field sensitivity, more DME and required more vitrectomy surgeries…….
read more: http://www.finchannel.com/index.php/society/health/item/52500-ranibizumab-proves-effective-to-treat-proliferative-diabetic-retinopathy
source: Financial