Age-related macular degeneration: experimental and emerging treatments

Clin Ophthalmol. 2009;3:167-74. doi: 10.2147/opth.s5156. Epub 2009 Jun 2.


Purpose: This essay reviews the experimental treatments and new imaging modalities that are currently being explored by investigators to help treat patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Design: Interpretative essay.

Methods: Literature review and interpretation.

Results: Experimental treatments to preserve vision in patients with exudative AMD include blocking vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), binding VEGF, and modulating the VEGF receptors. Investigators are also attempting to block signal transduction with receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Experimental treatments for non-exudative AMD include agents that target inflammation, oxidative stress, and implement immune-modulation. The effectiveness of these newer pharmacologic agents has the potential to grow exponentially when used in combination with new and improved imaging modalities that can help identify disease earlier and follow treatment response more precisely.

Conclusion: With a better understanding, at the genetic and molecular level, of AMD and the development of superior imaging modalities, investigators are able to offer treatment options that may offer unprecedented visual gains while reducing the need for repetitive treatments.

Keywords: PEDF; SiRNA; VEGF; age-related macular degeneration.