"Our genetic research team remains hopeful that gene variants that predict patient response to AMD treatments will be identified soon," said Dr. Hagstrom. "This would enable a significant leap forward in ophthalmologists' ability to individualize treatment and care plans for their patients."
The main CATT study was a multi-center clinical trial that was funded by the National Institutes of Health and led by Daniel F. Martin, M.D., Chairman of the Cole Eye Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. The study compared Lucentis and Avastin for effectiveness and safety in treating the wet form of AMD.
The findings of the CATT genetic study lend further weight to the American Academy of Ophthalmology's 2012 recommendation on the use of genetic testing . This study assessed the same four major gene variants that are most widely used in current AMD genetic tests and found that the treatment response in patients who carried the gene variants was no better or worse than in patients who did not. The Academy advises against routine genetic testing for AMD and other complex eye disorders until specific treatment or monitoring strategies have been shown in clinical trials to be of benefit to people with specific, risk-linked genotypes.
Wet AMD, also called neovascular AMD, can severely damage vision if not treated in time. About 10 percent of patients suffer from the wet form, in which abnormal blood vessels grow underneath the retina, the tissue at the back of the eye that is crucial to good vision. These vessels leak fluid or blood, which blurs or distorts the central vision that enables people to read, recognize faces, drive, and perform other daily activities. Scientists now think that about half of all cases of AMD are related to specific genes.
|Contact: Mary Wade|
American Academy of Ophthalmology