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Genetic medicine and AMD treatment; genetic screening and glaucoma
Date:10/17/2010

CHICAGO Genetic medicine is the focus of two presentations at today's Scientific Program of the 2010 American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Middle East-Africa Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) Joint Meeting. The AAO-MEACO meeting is in session October 16 through 19 at McCormick Place, Chicago. It is the largest, most comprehensive ophthalmic education conference in the world.

Seeking Genetics-Specific Treatments for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

In the past decade ophthalmologists gained a powerful tool to control vision-damaging "wet" age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD): anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) medications. Anti-VEGF drugs halt or even reverse damage in many wet AMD patients, but some do not respond as well to treatment and so suffer severe vision loss. The new field of pharmacogenetics seeks to enable doctors to individualize treatment based on the patient's genetic profile for a disease. In a collaborative effort, the Hussman Institute for Human Genomics and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine studied whether specific genetic AMD risk factors and/or smoking influenced patients' responses to anti-VEGF treatment.

The researchers reviewed medical records of 36 people with wet AMD who participated in the Unifying Genetic Epidemiology of Macular Degeneration Study. In terms of anti-VEGF treatment, there were 12 responders whose vision improved, 18 maintainers, and 6 poor responders whose vision declined. All patients had been treated with bevacizumab (Avastin) and/or ranibizumab (Lucentis) for at least one year. None of the patients had vision loss due to cataract, geographic atrophy (advanced "dry" AMD), laser scar or retinal pigment epithelial tear. DNA analysis was done for two AMD-genetic risk factors: complement factor H (CFH) and age-related maculopathy susceptibility-2 (ARMS2) genes. Twenty-four patients had been smokers and three were curre
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Contact: Mary Wade
mwade@aao.org
510-725-5677
American Academy of Ophthalmology
Source:Eurekalert

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