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Entries in Age-Related Macular Degeneration (2)

Thursday
Apr282011

Study Finds Cancer Drug Avastin May Be Cheap Alternative for Eye Disease

Banastock/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- Results from a study comparing Avastin (a cancer treatment drug) and Ludentis (a drug used to treat a degenerative eye disease) confirmed that the two are nearly equal in effectiveness for improving visual acuity lost as a result of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to MedPage Today.

According to the study, published online Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, patients who received monthly doses of Avastin gained 8.0 letters of visual acuity compared to an 8.5 letter improvement that Ludentis produced.

Members of the opthalmology community had much looked forward to the release of the study's findings, given the substantial price difference of the two drugs, both made by Genentech.  One dose of Avastin, approved by the FDA only for cancer treatment costs, about $50, while one dose of Ludentis, approved only for AMD, will run patients about $2,000. 

Fearing the impact such a study could have on the sales of the more expensive Ludentis, Genetech has been reluctant, MedPage reports, to fund a head-to-head trial between the two.  As a result, the National Eye Institute provided funding for the study, called the Comparison of AMD Treatment Trials (CATT).

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio ´╗┐

Monday
Apr112011

Vitamin D Protects Against Age-Related Vision Loss

Paul Thomas/Photodisc(BUFFALO, N.Y.) -- Warding off vision loss in old age may have more to do with what's in your kitchen than what's in your medicine cabinet. According to new research published Monday, women who consume high levels of vitamin D through certain fish, dairy, eggs, and leafy greens could lower the risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in later life, by 59 percent.

In Monday's study, women who consumed the most vitamin D cut their risk of developing early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – a leading cause of vision loss and blindness among older Americans that strikes eight and a half million Americans – by more than half when compared to women with vitamin D-poor diets. Researchers found that risk was lowest when patients consumed 720 international units of Vitamin D per day through foods such as cold water fish, leafy greens, and dairy.

Though vitamin D can be obtained from foods, supplements, or by exposure to the sun, researchers found that vitamin D levels among patients in the study were most affected by the amount of vitamin D they consumed, not by the amount of outdoor exposure they had.

Considering many Americans are actually deficient in vitamin D, this study may offer one more reason for women to include vitamin D-rich foods in the diet, especially because women with vitamin D levels well above the recommended minimum saw the most benefit, said the lead author on the study, Amy Millen of the University of Buffalo.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐







ABC News Radio