Anti-VEGF Treatments Examined for Effects on Diabetic Retinopathy

Rates of worsening low in patients receiving aflibercept, bevacizumab, or ranibizumab
Rates of worsening low in patients receiving aflibercept, bevacizumab, or ranibizumab

HealthDay News — Three anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) treatments are associated with low rates of diabetic retinopathy (DR) worsening, according to a study published online April 27 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Susan B. Bressler, MD, from Johns Hopkins University, and colleagues conducted pre-planned secondary analysis of data from a comparative effectiveness trial for center-involved DME in 650 participants during 2 years of treatment with aflibercept (2mg), bevacizumab (1.25mg), or ranibizumab (0.3mg). 

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The researchers found that at 1 year, among 423 nonproliferative DR (NPDR) eyes, 44 of 141 (31.2%) treated with aflibercept, 29 of 131 (22.1%) with bevacizumab, and 57 of 151 (37.7%) with ranibizumab had improvement of DR severity (P=0.004 for aflibercept versus bevacizumab, P=0.01 for ranibizumab versus bevacizumab, and P=0.51 for aflibercept versus ranibizumab). At 2 years, no treatment group differences were identified. Among the 93 eyes with proliferative DR (PDR) at baseline, 1-year improvement rates were 75.9% for aflibercept, 31.4% for bevacizumab, and 55.2% for ranibizumab (P<0.001 for aflibercept versus bevacizumab, P=0.09 for ranibizumab versus bevacizumab, and P=0.02 for aflibercept versus ranibizumab). These rates and group differences were maintained at 2 years.

"All three anti-VEGF treatments were associated with low rates of DR worsening. These data provide additional outcomes that might be considered when choosing an anti-VEGF agent to treat DME," conclude the authors.

Several authors report financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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