Study results offer hope to patients with wet macular degeneration who are receiving anti-VEGF injections.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine analyzed the treatment outcomes of 106 patients with wet age-related macular degeneration who were treated at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute between 2013 and 2020. Study results were published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Patients had a customized anti-VEGF schedule and were monitored for their response to the therapy. Based upon the their response, the team would assess whether the patient needed another injection or if they could pause injections until there was evidence that symptoms had increased at a subsequent visit.
Patients who had treatment paused and whose eyes showed no signs of fluid accumulation or increased vision loss after at least 30 weeks were deemed to be "weaned" off anti-VEGF therapy.
Almost a third of the patients ceased anti-VEGF treatments at the end of a year. 17% of participants still required monthly injections and the other half of patients needed treatment every 6 - 12 weeks. A small portion of these patients were successfully weaned off at the end of the second year.
Further studies will be needed with larger groups of patients in order to try and determine possible recommendations on pausing anti-VEGF treatments for certain patients.
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