Radiation treatment could reduce frequency of injections

Posted: Tuesday 02 July 2024
Researcher in laboratory with syringe

A new study led by researchers from King's College London and King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has shown that radiation could significantly reduce the number of injections needed to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The study, published in The Lancet, demonstrated that a custom-built robotic system can deliver a safe dose of radiation directly to the eye affected by wet AMD. This one-time, minimally invasive procedure is followed by standard treatment of anti-VEGF injections.

Reduce frequency of injections

The study’s results indicate that this method could reduce the need for frequent injections by up to 25%, as the radiation reduces inflammation, scarring and the formation of new blood vessels.

The robot used in the study, to deliver the radiation, employs three beams of focused radiation to precisely target the diseased part of the eye. According to the study, each patient treated with the robotic system could save the NHS £565 over the first two years, compared to those receiving traditional treatment.

Landmark trial

Professor Tim Jackson, the consultant ophthalmic surgeon who led the study, emphasised the significance of the findings.

He said: “With this purpose-built robotic system, we can target the macula with incredible precision, reducing the number of injections needed and thus easing the burden on patients.”

The study, which has been described as a "landmark trial", involved 411 participants across 30 NHS hospitals and received joint funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and the Medical Research Council (MRC). The Macular Society supported the study by helping to recruit participants.

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