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Interpreting the Avastin-Lucentis study for persons with macular degeneration
Date:5/1/2012

Clarksburg, MDThis week, the second-year results of an important clinical trial on age-related macular degeneration (AMD), known as the Comparison of AMD Treatments Trials (or CATT), were published in the journal Ophthalmology. Researchers found that two drugs known as Avastin (bevacizumab) and Lucentis (ranibizumab), commonly used to treat the wet form of AMD, were similarly effective in maintaining vision.

In this clinical trial funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health, CATT researchers found that two years into the study, two-thirds of patients retained a vision of 20/40 or better, whereas only 15% of patients retained similar vision with previous treatments.

"As a nonprofit organization that funds groundbreaking research and provides public information on AMD, the American Health Assistance Foundation welcomes discoveries from the CATT trials on wet AMD, which affects two million Americans," says AHAF Vice President for Scientific Affairs, Guy Eakin, Ph.D. "We also call for more support of research on this and other eye diseases. In the future, our goals are not just to maintain vision, but to restore vision and ultimately to prevent the disease entirely."

For both drugs, vision was slightly better with monthly injections, rather than with less frequent or "as-needed" injections. However, study authors were also quick to note that since as-needed dosing requires fewer drug injections into the eye, some patients, following consultation with their eye doctor, may elect not to choose monthly injections, balancing relative risks and cost.

"While this study neither adds nor removes the number of drug choices available to the eye care provider, it does facilitate better informed decision making between the doctor and patient," says Eakin. He notes the findings of study authors, who conclude, "The choice of drug and dosing regimen for patients must balance the comparable e
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Contact: Alice Kirkman
akirkman@ahaf.org
301-556-9349
AHAF-American Health Assistance Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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