Positive (and negative) data a highlight of Subspecialty Day

November 7, 2017

NEW ORLEANS – There’s no place quite like Retina Subspecialty Day for retina specialists to hear about data released throughout the year - both positive and negative results this year, said David Brown, MD (Houston).

The initial disappointing results earlier this year from Genentech’s geographic atrophy (GA) compound lampalizumab may be offset by new data on the company’s second study.

Jeffrey S. Heier, MD, will present topline results from the phase 3 Spectri study; at this time “even a subgroup analysis” may give researchers more insight into the disorder and (maybe) provide an inkling into which mechanisms may be successful in treating GA.

The 12-month safety and efficacy outcomes from the phase 2 study on APL-2 in patients with GA will also be interesting, Dr. Brown said, because the fellow eye also had an active choroidal neovascularization.

Using combination therapy to treat various retina diseases has great potential, but more data is needed and likely will be published or presented early next year, with just a hint of what’s to come presented at American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), said Dr. Brown, part of the Modern Retina Street Team at AAO.

He has observed “more excitement about surgical techniques” this year compared to years’ past, including internal limiting membrane flaps for macular holes. Of special interest for surgeons may be the sessions on widefield imaging and 3D imaging.

On Saturday, Steven D. Schwartz, MD, and Rajendra S. Apte, MD, PhD, will debate the necessity of widefield imaging in practice, while John W. Kitchens, MD, and Julia A. Haller, MD, will debate whether now is the time to use 3D digital surgery viewing in vitrectomy.

Dr. Brown said instrumentation and surgery may take more of the limelight than they have in years’ past as pharmacotherapy studies were prevalent.

The “clinical benefit of these tools is not definitive,” he said, adding to the excitement for the debate on the topic.

And, of course, there’s the charbroiled oysters.

“If you’ve never had them, those alone are a reason to attend Academy when it’s in New Orleans,” Dr. Brown said.