July 14, 2011 |
After more than 20 years of research, doctors at UCLA's Jules Stein Eye Institute have begun treating the first patients in clinical trials for two progressive eye diseases that cause blindness: dry age-related macular degeration and Stargardt's macular dystrophy. For the Record, 12:27 p.m. July 26: An earlier version of this post had an incorrect age for the patient with Stargardt's macular degeneration. She is actually older, according to UCLA officials, though they declined to give her exact age. Also, in the original post Stargardt's was misspelled once as Stardgart's.
April 28, 2011 |
The cancer drug Avastin may work just as effectively as the more expensive Lucentis at treating age-related macular degeneration, new research suggests. But the potential side effects bear watching. The early results of a clinical trial comparing the two drugs was published online Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine , slightly ahead of schedule. Avastin doesn’t have FDA approval to treat AMD -- it’s approved to prevent the growth of blood vessels that fuel tumors.
January 10, 2011 |
About 10 million Americans suffer some degree of vision loss caused by age-related macular degeneration, and that figure is expected to grow as more baby boomers become senior citizens. There is no cure for the disease, but last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave a green light to an unusual clinical trial that seeks to restore patients' sight by employing human embryonic stem cells. None of the stem cells will be injected into patients; instead, they are grown into another kind of cell that will be delivered to the back of the eye, where the retina is damaged by the disease.
January 3, 2011 |
A therapy derived from human embryonic stem cells may help millions of Americans battle a common form of blindness. Advanced Cell Technology Inc. said Monday that it has received a green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin a clinical trial to test its therapeutic cells as a treatment for dry age-related macular degeneration. The company plans to enroll a dozen patients in a Phase I/II trial, which would primarily test the safety of the cells and whether they are well-tolerated by patients.
December 2, 2010 |
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in high concentrations in the retina of the eye, leading to speculation that adequate levels of the substance may be important in preventing some diseases of the eye. Animal studies also suggest that omega-3s, found mostly in seafood, protect against eye diseases. A new study adds more evidence, finding that people who consume a lot of fish and shellfish have lower rates of age-related macular degeneration. The condition is the most common cause of blindness in the United States.
October 1, 2010
Avastin, the anti-cancer drug already widely used off-label by physicians to treat the wet form of age-related macular degeneration, is as effective as Lucentis, the gold standard for treatment of the disorder, researchers said Friday. The first head-to-head study of the two drugs could be a step toward Food and Drug Administration approval to market Avastin for macular degeneration, which would lead more insurance companies to reimburse patients for its use. Potentially more important, Avastin is much cheaper than Lucentis -- costing about $50 per injection compared with $2,000 per injecton for Lucentis.