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Verteporfin combination regimens in the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

Author(s): Shah GK, Sang DN, Hughes MS

Affiliation(s): Barnes Retina Institute, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

Publication date & source: 2009-02, Retina., 29(2):133-48.

Publication type: Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review

BACKGROUND: Neovascular age-related macular degeneration is characterized by choroidal neovascularization that has a complex pathogenesis. Combining agents that have different mechanisms of action (i.e., verteporfin photodynamic therapy, antivascular endothelial growth factor, and/or anti-inflammatory therapies) could maximize clinical benefits through potential complementary effects. This review discusses findings from studies investigating this hypothesis. METHODS: Articles were retrieved from PubMed using relevant search terms. Abstracts from recent scientific meetings and details of ongoing trials from clinicaltrials.gov were also included. RESULTS: Following its approval, verteporfin was important in the management of choroidal neovascularization due to age-related macular degeneration for several years. Improved visual outcomes have now been reported with antiangiogenic agents (e.g., intravitreal ranibizumab), especially when frequently administered. Results from investigator-sponsored trials, retrospective case studies and Registries, which have provided insights into the latest findings from clinical practice in the "real-world" setting, as well as randomized controlled trials, suggest that a combination approach is generally well tolerated and may maintain improvements in visual and anatomic outcomes with fewer retreatments. CONCLUSION: A rationale exists for investigating combination approaches to target different processes in choroidal neovascularization pathogenesis, which may optimize treatment benefits in neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Encouraging data suggest that combination strategies are not associated with major adverse events.

Page last updated: 2009-10-20

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