Emerging Therapies for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration: State of the ArtDonati G.
The cornerstone of pharmacotherapeutic treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is photodynamic therapy with verteporfin. The recently approved pegaptanib sodium, which targets vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), reduces vision loss in AMD when given by intravitreal injection every 6 weeks. The early promise of monotherapy with the corticosteroid triamcinolone acetonide has yet to be borne out in larger clinical trials, but outcomes may be improved when it is used in combination with verteporfin therapy. The angiostatic cortisone anecortave acetate was recently reported to have failed to meet the primary efficacy criterion in two large, placebo-controlled trials, and its clinical utility is uncertain. Other potential treatments with varying mechanisms of action are currently under investigation. To date, no agent has been shown to significantly restore lost vision in patients with AMD. Future treatment strategies are likely to include a combination of treatments to better manage AMD-associated choroidal neovascularisation and preserve patients’ visual acuity.
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