Avastin treatments have been shown to improve vision in patients with long term low vision secondary to wet macular degeneration. Designed initially as a cancer drug, Avastin has been used to treat wet macular degeneration, an eye disease that can lead to the rapid loss of vision in the elderly.
Researchers have shown how Avastin treatments improved the visual acuity of patients with chronic wet macular degeneration.
Reporting in Retina, The Journal of Retinal and Vitreous Diseases forty-seven patients (48 eyes) aged 57 to 90 who had suffered from macular degeneration for 5 months or more were treated with one or more injections of Avastin. These patient treated with Avastin injections had a visual acuity of 20/150 or less. Thirty-two eyes were treated previously with photodynamic therapy.
These patients had shown a mean duration of macular degeneration symptoms for 17.9 months with the mean number of Avastin injections to treat the macular degeneration being 3.41 months. The follow period was an average of 27 weeks.
It was shown in this research that visual acuity improved by 3 or more lines in 12 eyes (25 percent) and there was no change in 9 eyes (19 percent). Only 4 eyes (8.3 percent) affected by macular degeneration showed a deterioration by 3 or more lines.
Visual acuity was at least 20/150 in 16 eyes (33 percent), as compared to 4 eyes (8.3 percent) before having treatment with avastin for their macular degeneration.
Because of the results shown, the researchers indicated that patients with chronic wet macular degeneration (AMD) and low vision may benefit from Avastin based therapy.