Recent advancements in diabetic retinopathy treatment from the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network

Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2016 May;27(3):210-6. doi: 10.1097/ICU.0000000000000262.


Purpose of review: Diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema (DME) are common eye diseases leading to vision loss. The Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network (DRCRnet), a collaboration of private and academic practices supported by the National Eye Institute and the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases has studied diabetic eye disease for 13 years. This review will discuss the network's findings over the last year, when some of its most important contributions were reported.

Recent findings: The DRCRnet reported intravitreal bevacizumab, ranibizumab and aflibercept all improve visual acuity in DME. With baseline vision of 20/30 to 20/40, all agents had similar efficacy. With baseline vision of 20/50 or worse, aflibercept resulted in superior visual improvement. Protocol S, which compared panretinal photocoagulation with intravitreal injections of ranibizumab for proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), found vision outcomes and surgery rates were not inferior in the injection group. Secondary outcomes indicate improved functional results with ranibizumab supporting injections as a possible alternative treatment for PDR.

Summary: The DRCRnet has helped clarify the role of various treatments for both DME and PDR, and will continue to evaluate treatments for these vision-threatening conditions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetic Retinopathy / complications
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / drug therapy*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / therapy
  • Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Humans
  • Laser Coagulation
  • Vision Disorders / etiology
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology
  • Visual Acuity