Retina Subspecialty Day offers a bit of everything


NEW ORLEANS - This year, there is not just one presentation or session Charles Wykoff, MD, (Houston) is looking forward to at Retina Subspecialty Day - it’s all of them. If he had to narrow it down to his top five topics, he said he is hard-pressed to do so.

“Optical coherence tomography-angiography (OCT-A) fills the most space of any particular topic during Subspecialty Day,” he said, and as software is becoming more accessible to clinicians broadly, “practitioners are wondering if they need to upgrade, and what this new imaging modality can tell us that we can’t currently assess.”

To that end, on Friday, November 10, the topic of whether or not OCT-A is “ready for mainstream clinical use” will be debated by Caroline R. Baumal, MD (pro) and Karl G. Csaky, MD (con).

Another “hot” topic for Dr. Wykoff, part of Modern Retina’s Street Team, will be hearing about results from a phase 2 trial of ciliary neurotrophic factor for macular telangiectasia.

“It’s the first time we’re hearing about a surgical trial for this disorder that has shown positive results,” he said. “That’s an exciting prospect.”

Calling gene therapy for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) “the most interesting topic on the long-term horizon,” Dr. Wykoff said an update on “Gene Therapy for AMD: Where do we Stand?” from Szilard Kiss, MD, will be valuable to clinician scientists. For instance, earlier this year, The Lancet published phase 1 results on the intravitreous injection of AAV2-sFLT01 for the potential treatment of AMD and found the vector to be safe and well tolerated at all doses.

This year’s Subspecialty Day is also debuting the first-time data release from a phase 2 study on delivering preservative free triamcinolone acetonide into the suprachoroidal space for the treatment of recalcitrant diabetic macular edema (DME), the HULK trial. Eventually, this treatment may offer another therapy option for patients with DME, Dr. Wykoff said, adding he will be presenting those results Friday afternoon.

“There are several ongoing phase II combination trials, which is giving us an inkling of what’s coming down the road,” Dr. Wykoff said. “Data will be presented on combining vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and angiotensin II (Ang2) blockade.” Both Regeneron and Genentech are actively pursuing these avenues, and anticipation is high for what will be discussed this year.

On a more personal note, Dr. Wykoff said he is deeply interested in the concent of retinal vascular reperfusion and is looking forward to the presentation by Dante Pieramici, MD, in which he will be talking about what is and is not known (to date) about retinal nonperfusion and the impact of pharmacologic therapies in diabetic retinopathy. 

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