OVERVIEW OF RADIATION TRIALS FOR AGE-RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION

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Abstract

Radiotherapy is a promising adjunctive tool to antiangiogenesis therapies for control of the choroidal neovascularization that characterizes exudative (wet) age-related macular degeneration. Historically, radiation monotherapy sufficient to effectively eradicate choroidal neovascularization has been associated with mixed results; however, newer techniques and delivery platforms have been developed to improve efficacy. The most significant improvements are technical advances that improve the precision of energy delivery, so that tissue destruction remains confined to the target. In addition, several combination therapies are showing promise for enhanced effect. Other strategies, such as pretreating neovascular tissue to increase its sensitivity to radiation, thereby reducing the energy dose, may also be viable. However, even though the modern delivery systems permit relatively low dosages, there are risks of radiotherapy to ocular tissue, and its role remains speculative, pending results of ongoing trials.

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