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Experimental device may offer new treatment for macular degeneration

An experimental device is currently in the early stages of human study that would offer patients being treated for wet macular degeneration a new treatment option. The device was developed by Professor Russell Hamilton who is the head of the physics section of the University of Arizona department of radiation oncology. The device was designed to administer targeted radiation to blood vessel leaks via a small radioactive seed inserted behind the eye. It is hoped that the targeted radiation would provide a more long-term solution and possibly increase the effectiveness of initial anti-VEGF injections thus reducing or eliminating the need for future injections. Inserting the device can be done either in the physician's office or in an outpatient setting and takes about 15 minutes. The treatment would save patients both time and money since anti-VEGF injections are $2,000 a shot and trips to the doctor would become less frequent. Results of the Phase 1 study were promising. The six participants in the study who were treated with device all had improved vision with no additional vision loss and three of them were able to stop their anti-VEGF injections. Further testing will commence later this year.*

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