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      Resistance to anti-VEGF therapy in neovascular age-related macular degeneration: a comprehensive review

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          Abstract

          As a progressive chronic disease, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of irreversible vision impairment worldwide. Experimental and clinical evidence has demonstrated that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays a vital role in the formation of choroidal neovascularization. Intravitreal injections of anti-VEGF agents have been recommended as a first-line treatment for neovascular AMD. However, persistent fluid or recurrent exudation still occurs despite standardized anti-VEGF therapy. Patients suffering from refractory or recurrent neovascular AMD may develop mechanisms of resistance to anti-VEGF therapy, which results in a diminished therapeutic effect. Until now, there has been no consensus on the definitions of refractory neovascular AMD and recurrent neovascular AMD. This article aims at clarifying these concepts to evaluate the efficacy of switching drugs, which contributes to making clinical decision more scientifically. Furthermore, insight into the causes of resistance to anti-VEGF therapy would be helpful for developing possible therapeutic approaches, such as combination therapy and multi-target treatment that can overcome this resistance.

          Most cited references113

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          Ranibizumab and bevacizumab for neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

          Clinical trials have established the efficacy of ranibizumab for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In addition, bevacizumab is used off-label to treat AMD, despite the absence of similar supporting data. In a multicenter, single-blind, noninferiority trial, we randomly assigned 1208 patients with neovascular AMD to receive intravitreal injections of ranibizumab or bevacizumab on either a monthly schedule or as needed with monthly evaluation. The primary outcome was the mean change in visual acuity at 1 year, with a noninferiority limit of 5 letters on the eye chart. Bevacizumab administered monthly was equivalent to ranibizumab administered monthly, with 8.0 and 8.5 letters gained, respectively. Bevacizumab administered as needed was equivalent to ranibizumab as needed, with 5.9 and 6.8 letters gained, respectively. Ranibizumab as needed was equivalent to monthly ranibizumab, although the comparison between bevacizumab as needed and monthly bevacizumab was inconclusive. The mean decrease in central retinal thickness was greater in the ranibizumab-monthly group (196 μm) than in the other groups (152 to 168 μm, P=0.03 by analysis of variance). Rates of death, myocardial infarction, and stroke were similar for patients receiving either bevacizumab or ranibizumab (P>0.20). The proportion of patients with serious systemic adverse events (primarily hospitalizations) was higher with bevacizumab than with ranibizumab (24.1% vs. 19.0%; risk ratio, 1.29; 95% confidence interval, 1.01 to 1.66), with excess events broadly distributed in disease categories not identified in previous studies as areas of concern. At 1 year, bevacizumab and ranibizumab had equivalent effects on visual acuity when administered according to the same schedule. Ranibizumab given as needed with monthly evaluation had effects on vision that were equivalent to those of ranibizumab administered monthly. Differences in rates of serious adverse events require further study. (Funded by the National Eye Institute; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00593450.).
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            Pegaptanib for neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

            Pegaptanib, an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy, was evaluated in the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration. We conducted two concurrent, prospective, randomized, double-blind, multicenter, dose-ranging, controlled clinical trials using broad entry criteria. Intravitreous injection into one eye per patient of pegaptanib (at a dose of 0.3 mg, 1.0 mg, or 3.0 mg) or sham injections were administered every 6 weeks over a period of 48 weeks. The primary end point was the proportion of patients who had lost fewer than 15 letters of visual acuity at 54 weeks. In the combined analysis of the primary end point (for a total of 1186 patients), efficacy was demonstrated, without a dose-response relationship, for all three doses of pegaptanib (P<0.001 for the comparison of 0.3 mg with sham injection; P<0.001 for the comparison of 1.0 mg with sham injection; and P=0.03 for the comparison of 3.0 mg with sham injection). In the group given pegaptanib at 0.3 mg, 70 percent of patients lost fewer than 15 letters of visual acuity, as compared with 55 percent among the controls (P<0.001). The risk of severe loss of visual acuity (loss of 30 letters or more) was reduced from 22 percent in the sham-injection group to 10 percent in the group receiving 0.3 mg of pegaptanib (P<0.001). More patients receiving pegaptanib (0.3 mg), as compared with sham injection, maintained their visual acuity or gained acuity (33 percent vs. 23 percent; P=0.003). As early as six weeks after beginning therapy with the study drug, and at all subsequent points, the mean visual acuity among patients receiving 0.3 mg of pegaptanib was better than in those receiving sham injections (P<0.002). Among the adverse events that occurred, endophthalmitis (in 1.3 percent of patients), traumatic injury to the lens (in 0.7 percent), and retinal detachment (in 0.6 percent) were the most serious and required vigilance. These events were associated with a severe loss of visual acuity in 0.1 percent of patients. Pegaptanib appears to be an effective therapy for neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Its long-term safety is not known. Copyright 2004 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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              Ranibizumab versus bevacizumab to treat neovascular age-related macular degeneration: one-year findings from the IVAN randomized trial.

              To compare the efficacy and safety of ranibizumab and bevacizumab intravitreal injections to treat neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD). Multicenter, noninferiority factorial trial with equal allocation to groups. The noninferiority limit was 3.5 letters. This trial is registered (ISRCTN92166560). People >50 years of age with untreated nAMD in the study eye who read ≥ 25 letters on the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study chart. We randomized participants to 4 groups: ranibizumab or bevacizumab, given either every month (continuous) or as needed (discontinuous), with monthly review. The primary outcome is at 2 years; this paper reports a prespecified interim analysis at 1 year. The primary efficacy and safety outcome measures are distance visual acuity and arteriothrombotic events or heart failure. Other outcome measures are health-related quality of life, contrast sensitivity, near visual acuity, reading index, lesion morphology, serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels, and costs. Between March 27, 2008 and October 15, 2010, we randomized and treated 610 participants. One year after randomization, the comparison between bevacizumab and ranibizumab was inconclusive (bevacizumab minus ranibizumab -1.99 letters, 95% confidence interval [CI], -4.04 to 0.06). Discontinuous treatment was equivalent to continuous treatment (discontinuous minus continuous -0.35 letters; 95% CI, -2.40 to 1.70). Foveal total thickness did not differ by drug, but was 9% less with continuous treatment (geometric mean ratio [GMR], 0.91; 95% CI, 0.86 to 0.97; P = 0.005). Fewer participants receiving bevacizumab had an arteriothrombotic event or heart failure (odds ratio [OR], 0.23; 95% CI, 0.05 to 1.07; P = 0.03). There was no difference between drugs in the proportion experiencing a serious systemic adverse event (OR, 1.35; 95% CI, 0.80 to 2.27; P = 0.25). Serum VEGF was lower with bevacizumab (GMR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.41 to 0.54; P<0.0001) and higher with discontinuous treatment (GMR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.07 to 1.42; P = 0.004). Continuous and discontinuous treatment costs were £9656 and £6398 per patient per year for ranibizumab and £1654 and £1509 for bevacizumab; bevacizumab was less costly for both treatment regimens (P<0.0001). The comparison of visual acuity at 1 year between bevacizumab and ranibizumab was inconclusive. Visual acuities with continuous and discontinuous treatment were equivalent. Other outcomes are consistent with the drugs and treatment regimens having similar efficacy and safety. Proprietary or commercial disclosures may be found after the references. Copyright © 2012 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                Dove Medical Press
                1177-8881
                2016
                02 June 2016
                : 10
                : 1857-1867
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Ophthalmology, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]Eye Research Institute of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
                [3 ]Shanghai Key Laboratory of Fundus Disease, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Xiaodong Sun, Department of Ophthalmology, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, 100 Haining Road, Shanghai 200080, People’s Republic of China, Tel/fax +86 21 6324 0090 x6822, Email xdsun@ 123456sjtu.edu.cn
                Article
                dddt-10-1857
                10.2147/DDDT.S97653
                4898027
                27330279
                1a4a3080-0726-4a40-8704-2c7c7d040589
                © 2016 Yang et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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                Categories
                Review

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine
                age-related macular degeneration,vascular endothelial growth factor,choroidal neovascularization,resistance

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