19.10.2010

Experts study genetic-specific AMD treatment

Experts study genetic-specific AMD treatment

By Adrian Galbreth

Experts have been analysing whether specific genetic risk factors and/or smoking influence age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patients' responses to anti-VEGF treatment.

Although anti-VEGF drugs halt or even reverse damage in many wet AMD patients, some do not respond as well to treatment and suffer severe vision loss, something which experts at the Hussman Institute for Human Genomics and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine attempted to address.

In the study, neither high risk genetic factors nor smoking history were found to be significantly associated with patients' responses to anti-VEGF therapy, according to Dr Jaclyn Kovach.

"However, more responders than poor responders carried at least one risk allele for ARMS2, CFH, or for both genes. Repeating this study in a larger population could bring us closer to a gene-guided therapy for wet AMD," she explained.

Meanwhile, a research group led by Dr Jason Slakter at the New York University School of Medicine has found that a drug commonly used to treat arthritis sufferers may also be effective in tackling dry AMD.

by Emily Tait


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