David Brown, MD: Teamwork and AMD/DME Research on the Horizon


David Brown, a retina specialist discusses how retina and diabetes specialists can coordinate care and education for their patients as well as the outlook for AMD/DME research.

David Brown, MD, the director of research at Retina Consultants of Houston in Texas, sat down with MD Magazine® to discuss collaboration between retina and diabetes specialists as well as the outlook on research in the AMD/DME space.

Brown will present the findings of several studies, including the FILLY trial of APL-2 and the PANORAMA trial of intravitreal aflibercept injection for moderately severe to severe nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy without diabetic macular edema (DME) later this weekend at the American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois.

How do ophthalmologists coordinate care with diabetes specialists for patients with DME?

Yeah, I think it's one of the most important things the retina specialist can do—to tie in with the team for 2 reasons: one, this is often the first time the patient has an end organ complication that makes them realize “I'm not invincible.” Right, like the renal [effects] and a lot of the stuff is secondary, but when I can show them, their fluorescein angiogram and show them you've wiped out these blood vessels here and this is happening in your heart, in your kidneys, in your brain. It's a really important educational tool for them to realize it is important to work on this A1C and to tie it back in with their referring docs, so that they know we're a team working together. I can work on the end organ stuff, but the education has to come from all ends.

What are the needs for AMD/DME treatments? What is current research focusing on?

So, at this point the needs are being met, but hopefully we'll find a better mousetrap. You know I worked with us the initial anti VEGF stuff for macular degeneration in 2001—we're getting longer acting, stronger agents, we're working on sustained release devices. Hopefully one of these days we'll have something better than a shot every couple of months, but that's for researchers like myself and the guys in the labs to keep working on.

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