Peter Campochiaro, MD, professor of ophthalmology and director of the retinal cell and molecular laboratory at Johns Hopkins explains the burdens of receiving frequent anti-VEGF injection treatments.
Anti-VEGF injections are a common treatment option for patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Despite the fact that this is a common treatment, it can be burdensome for patients to receive frequent injections because of the limited duration of effectiveness for each injection.
MD Magazine® sat down with Peter Campochiaro, MD, a professor of ophthalmology and director of the retinal cell and molecular laboratory at Johns Hopkins, to learn more about the burdens associated with anti-VEGF injections at the American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois.
Interview transcript: (modified slightly for readability)
MD Magazine: Can you discuss the burden of anti-VEGF injections on patients?
Campochiaro: “We’ve made a lot of progress with anti-VEGF treatments, the way that we deliver them is intravitreous injections of VEGF neutralizing proteins. They work pretty well but what they do is neutralize VEGF just for a period of time and then the VEGF starts to come back, and you have to reinject.
For most patients, the range is about in 5 to 6 weeks, that they require an injection. That can go on for their entire life with neovascular AMD or with diabetic macular edema. So, it becomes very difficult for them to come back to the clinic and get those injections as frequently as needed to keep the best possible vision.
What often happens is that patients don’t get all the injections they need; something happens. They make break a leg, they may get sick, a family member may not be able to take them, so they don’t get an injection in the frequency that they need and over time the vision gradually goes down. So, it’s not just a matter of convenience it’s a matter that they’re not getting sufficient treatment and it can result in poor outcomes.”