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News, Links and Commentary

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Wet MD - Lucentis Vs Avastin 

Genentech's drug Lucentis is expected to be approved for use in patients with the wet form of age-related macular degeneration. Lucentis is a fragment of another drug developed by Genentech called Avastin. Avastin is approved to treat colorectal cancer and both drugs work by blocking a protein responsible for blood vessel growth. Avastin, not specifically trialed for use in the eye, is cheaper.

Some US ophthalmologists are currently using Avastin, in smaller quantities than needed for the treatment of colorectal cancer, to treat MD. Genentech is in the news because this is affecting company share prices.

Andrew Pollack's article, 'Genentech in Competition With Itself on Eye Drug' (The New York Times, 27 September 2005) is relevant to both patients and investors.

Comments:
While these procedures are important in helping to protect people's vision who have active bleeding in the retina, they do not attempt to help address the underlying problem related to possible poor circulation in the retina and the ongoing starvation of the retina for much needed nutrients. There are now numerous peer review research studies showing that macular degeneration is a disease that can be very responsive to specific nutritional supplementation (including lutein, zeaxanthin, taurine, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A and E, selenium, beta-cartoene, zinc and copper to name a few), diet and lifestyle. Also, microcurrent stimulation done daily at home along with specific supplementation can be very effective in helping protect against vision loss. The last research study done by a Dr. Ed Paul showed that 73% of the people who did microcurrent stimulation daily along with specific supplementation showed improved vision up to 2-3 lines on the eye chart. As a result of this study, there are now 4 double blind FDA approved studies starting (including one at New York Eye & Ear Infirmiary) studying the benefits of the microcurrent stimulation for macular degeneration along with some other retinal dystrophies. For more information and related research studies, you can go to http://www.naturaleyecare.com/diseases.asp?d_num=8 -- you can also read the specific research studies on microcurrent stimulation and macular degeneration at http://www.naturaleyecare.com/store/detail.aspx?ID=1545
 
Hi Michael,

The subject of age-related macular degeneration and nutritional supplements, particularly lutein and zeaxanthin, has appeared in previous RetGen posts. RetGen is a weblog in which I share any articles I find that may be relevant to people with retinal degeneration. Here are links to the posts on AMD and nutrition blogged so far:

'Thousands Could Prevent Progression of AMD with Supplements' (14 November 2003).
'Avocado May Aid Lutein Absorption' (6 August 2004).
'Fruits, Not Lutein, May Protect Against AMD' (15 June 2004).
'ConsumerLab.com Report on Lutein Supplements' (5 February 2004).
'Lutein Recommended Addition to Diet But Not As Supplement ' (14 January 2004).
'Seeing Eggs and Alfalfa Anew' (20 December 2003).

The effects of smoking on the risk of developing age-related MD has also been the subject of recent news articles and two RetGen posts.
 
Michael, while I agree with you, please remember there are different forms of macular degeneration, not all forms are age related.
 
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