Epimacular brachytherapy for wet AMD: current perspectives
Ricardo P Casaroli-Marano,1,2 Socorro Alforja,1 Joan Giralt,1 Michel E Farah2
1Instituto Clínic de Oftalmología (Hospital Clínic de Barcelona), University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; 2Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Escola Paulista de Medicina, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Abstract: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is considered the most common cause of blindness in the over-60 age group in developed countries. There are basically two forms of presentation: geographic (dry or atrophic) and wet (neovascular or exudative). Geographic atrophy accounts for approximately 85%–90% of ophthalmic frames and leads to a progressive degeneration of the retinal pigment epithelium and the photoreceptors. Wet AMD causes the highest percentage of central vision loss secondary to disease. This neovascular form involves an angiogenic process in which newly formed choroidal vessels invade the macular area. Today, intravitreal anti-angiogenic drugs attempt to block the angiogenic events and represent a major advance in the treatment of wet AMD. Currently, combination therapy for wet AMD includes different forms of radiation delivery. Epimacular brachytherapy (EMBT) seems to be a useful approach to be associated with current anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents, presenting an acceptable efficacy and safety profile. However, at the present stage of research, the results of the clinical trials carried out to date are insufficient to justify extending routine use of EMBT for the treatment of wet AMD.
Keywords: macular degeneration, radiation, vascular endothelial growth factor, combined therapy, intravitreal therapy, vitrectomy
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