Avastin, a drug often used patients with stomach cancer, turns out to be also effective in preventing blindness in patients with macular degeneration diseases caused by age. The drug is not only effective but also more cheaper than existing therapies.
Macular degeneration disease due to aging (age-related macula degenariton/AMD) is one of the main causes of blindness in people aged over 50. This disease occurs when the macula, the part of the retina which acts as a vision central is damaged by age.
As a result, vision becomes blurred in the middle or even appears blind spot in the middle of the field of view. AMD occurs in two types, wet and dry. Dry type macular degeneration are more experienced. At the beginning of this disease, it only attacks one eye, but gradually will hit both.
While the wet AMD develops when there are new blood vessels grow in the choroid under the macula. These abnormal vessels leak fluid or blood out. This condition causes the central vision becomes dark.
Until now there is no treatment for dry type macular degeneration. For the wet type macular degeneration treatment options are available, usually in the form of surgery with lasers.
Researchers from three eye care centers in England conducted a study on 131 patients suffering from wet AMD. The new study compared the effectiveness of Avastin, a drug of stomach cancer, with a standard therapy for AMD’s disease. Apparently, Avastin is far more effective than standard therapy, and certainly cheaper.
Eye experts around the world have been doing experiments with low-dose injections of Avastin in the eye of patients. They reported success with low cost because one drug can be shared and used by many patients.
Avastin is a drug manufactured by pharmaceutical company, Roche. This drug is not registered for the treatment of wet AMD. Therefore patients are advised to continue standard therapy for AMD until a stronger evidence regarding the ability of Avastin to treat eye disorders AMD is found.Tagged with: Avastin, blind spot, Blindness, causes of blindness, Eye Disorders, Macular Degeneration, stomach cancer, wet amd,