An inexpensive cancer drug may help to save the sight of thousands of people across the globe, experts have suggested.
Research has shown that Avastin improved the sight of patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.
Based on early trials concerning the drug"s cancer prevention properties, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, the government"s drugs rationing body, claimed that AMD patients may also benefit.
Now a study by researchers at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London has suggested that this is the case, as the medication does not harm the eyes.
Consultant ophthalmologist Mr Adnan Tufail has now called for healthcare systems with "budgetary limitations" to implement the use of Avastin to help reduce blindness caused by AMD.
It comes after veterinary vision scientists at the University of Pennsylvania successfully used a viral vector in targeting a class of photoreceptors of the retina called rods, which they claim could be a "critical first step" in developing gene therapies for inherited blindness caused by rod degeneration.
by Adrian Galbreth