Cancer Drug Can Prevent Blindness

The cancer drug, Avastin, manufactured by Roche Holding AG, though not licensed for treatment of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is used widely for preventing blindness. The generic name for Avastin is bevacizumab and is a monoclonal antibody, a protein created to bind to a molecule in a specific way. The drug can be injected into the eyes and it slows leakage by blocking the receptor for a hormone called vascular endothelial growth factor.

According to researchers for the British Medical Journal, “Avastin is now probably the most widely used agent to treat neovascular AMD, despite subsequent licensing of ranibizumab (brand name Lucentis) over bevacizumab because of the low cost of treatment when it is used as an intraocular agent.” This particularly applies in third world counties, where Lucentis is much too expensive.

The findings come after a study of 131 patients with a mean age of 81 who participated in a clinical trial in the UK.

If you suffer from age-related macular degeneration or some other eye disease, please contact an experienced eye doctor in your area today.