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Anti-VEGF Drugs for Retinal Diseases Could Have Serious Side Effects, Scientists Caution
Date:11/3/2008

Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston points out that the use of anti-VEGF therapy in the treatment of patients with wet macular degeneration has revolutionized outcomes in this disease. However, in light of the work of Dr. D'Amore and others, in elucidating possible systemic and ocular side effects of these drugs, "caution must be exercised in identifying patients at increased risk of problems with long-term VEGF blockade, and potential side effects must be detected early in the assessment of patients who will require repeated dosages of anti-VEGF agents."

The study is also relevant to the drug Avastin, which was initially approved for intravenous use as an anti-angiogenic agent in the treatment of cancer, but is also widely used intravitreally for the treatment of wet AMD because of its similar mode of action and much lower cost.

The next steps in D'Amore's research will include investigating the specific functions of VEGF in the eye.

Authors of the study include: Magali Saint-Geniez (1,2), Arindel S. R. Maharaj (1), Tony E. Walshe (1,2), Budd A. Tucker (1,2), Eiichi Sekiyama (1,2), Tomoki Kurihara (1), Diane C. Darland (4), Michael J. Young (1,2), Patricia A. D'Amore (1,2,3)

(1) Schepens Eye Research Institute

(2) Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School

(3) Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School

(4) University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota

Schepens Eye Research Institute is an affiliate of Harvard Medical School and is the largest independent eye research institute in the nation.


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SOURCE Schepens Eye Research Institute
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