The Power of Lucentis, Avastin, Eylea

Last week I had a patient with diabetes come in with massive growth of new blood vessels on the disc — “proliferative diabetic retinopathy.”  Because of the extent of the proliferative retinopathy, I gave him an injection of one of our wonder drugs, the VEGF inhibitors, the most common of which are Lucentis, Avastin and Eylea.  In this case I used Avastin.  I saw the patient 48 hours later to treat the other eye, and when I looked into the eye I had treated two days ago, I saw the amazing effects of the drug — the vessels had shrunk away.  They weren’t gone, but they were reduced from florid, plump, juicy vessels of death, to wimpy little strands.

Even though I see these dramatic changes often, I’m still truly amazed by the effect of these drugs.  Before 2005, it took ongoing laser treatment and months to see this kind of regression of proliferative diabetic retinopathy.  But with the advent of these drugs, led by Genentech, the maker of both Lucentis and Avastin, the results are miraculous.

Florid neovascularization of the disc from diabetic eye disease

Florid neovascularization of the disc from diabetic eye disease

 

48 hours after Avastin injection - the blood vessels on the disc are massively reduced

48 hours after Avastin injection – the blood vessels on the disc are massively reduced

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