Eye specialists are increasingly using anti-VEGFs, and switching treatments earlier for nonresponders, according to the 2015 American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) Preferences and Trends survey. The survey found a growing consensus on treat-and-extend as best regimen when treating age-related macular degeneration and the expansion of retina practices.
The annual online survey measured retina specialists’ preferences on an array of medical and surgical retina issues: demographics, macular diseases, retinal vascular diseases, diabetes, surgery and retinal detachment, pharmacology and therapeutics and socioeconomics, including demographic information. A record 896 responses were received.
The survey identified that almost 80 per cent of respondents consider switching to a new therapeutic agent in patients with age-related macular degeneration who do not respond adequately after fewer than six injections with the first agent. This tendency has grown markedly over the past two years.
Treat-and-extend therapy has gradually become the most prevalent treatment regimen, according to the survey.
“In 2010, [treat-and-extend] was below PRN, three years ago it was equal, and now it is used by more than 60 per cent of the specialists,” said Dr. Thomas Stone, a member of the American Society of Retinal Specialists.
In diabetic macular edema, the use of laser has declined while anti-VEGF as initial therapy has increased from 25 per cent in 2007 to more than 60 per cent today, to become “a cornerstone of the initial treatment”.