Reduce Number Of Eye Injections

Reduce Number Of Eye Injections

Posted on Sep.15, 2014, under Eye Conditions, Eye Health, Living With Low Vision, Low Vision Info, Low Vision Tips, The Eye

For those of you who receive regular eye injections to treat your macular degeneration you may be interested in hearing about a single low dose radiation therapy that cuts the need for monthly injections by an average of 45%. This type of therapy is now available at several hospitals in England, Germany and Switzerland after positive results were found from the INTREPID study. It uses a very targeted, called stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) to the back of the eye. This therapy can be given in any typical eye doctor’s office.

The I-Guide Eye Stabilization Device is part of what makes this therapy successful. The patient sits in a chair with the head resting on a chin rest. It stabilizes the patient’s head and aligns the eye so that the radiation is delivered accurately. The targeted low dose radiation spares healthy surrounding tissue from damage. The entire procedure takes about 20 minutes.

Most people are familiar with the use of radiation therapy to kill cancer cells which are rapidly dividing cells. Rapidly dividing cells are also found in neovascular or wet AMD. According to the Oraya website, “… ionizing radiation can disrupt DNA to such an extent that the cell is no longer able to divide. Cells undergoing rapid growth (such as in tumor or neovascular tissues) are more radiosensitive than those that are … reproducing slowly…”

What makes this treatment unique is that it targets the three processes that lead to wet macular degeneration:

1. Anti-Angiogenic
The low dose radiation prevents cells from multiplying and causes cell death, apoptosis

2. Anti-Inflammatory
More and more specialists are recognizing that AMD is indeed an inflammatory disease and chronic inflammation plays a key role in it’s progression.

3. Anti-Fibrotic
Another benefit to radiation is that it can prevent disciform scarring because it inhibits fibrosis
Twenty-five percent of the patients receiving the stereotactic targeted radiation needed no further eye injections.

There are many benefits to the patients which include less trips to the eye doctor which reduces patient expenses, less discomfort to the eye as the radiation treatment is painless, possible scarring is reduced and there is no recovery time. Patients can resume normal activities after the SRT.

On July 22, 2014, Oraya announced that Oraya Therapy will be offered at a National Health Service Hospital in the United Kingdom, at four university hospitals in Germany and several centers in Switzerland. It is not yet available in the United States.

For more information on the INTREPID clinical trial go to:

INTREPID Clinical Trial

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN