Cancer Drug Used for Loss of Vision

Reported by: Lauren Gawthrop
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Updated: 5/03/2012 8:03 am
A drug typically prescribed to cancer patients may also treat one of the most common eye diseases seen in people over age 65.

A new study finds the cancer drug Avastin delivers the same benefits as the drug Lucentis, which is given to people with age-related macular degeneration.

Dr. Daniel Martin and his team of researchers at Cleveland Clinic compared the effectiveness of Avastin and Lucentis on more than 1,100 people over two years.

Results show visual acuity improvement was virtually the same for both drugs. The biggest difference between the two drugs is the cost.

Avastin can save patients hundreds of dollars per dose.
Dr. Martin says the results should provide options for patients.

"Patients can proceed with confidence knowing that both drugs, Lucentis and Avastin are highly effective for the treatment of wet macular degeneration, no matter how they're given," said Martin.

Complete findings for this study are in the journal "Ophthalmology."
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