Anti-VEGF Treatments Examined for Effects on Diabetic Retinopathy

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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