FEB 12, 2021
By Kanaga Rajan and Keng Jin Lee
Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Retina/Vitreous
A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.
A new drug class for diabetic retinopathy is now being tested in phase 1 trials, according to scientists from Canada. Building on earlier work in cellular senescence, the team discovered a new molecular target, BCL-xL, present in defective retinal blood vessels. When tested in mice, a novel Bcl-xL inhibitor eliminated senescent cells and suppressed neovascularization. “These findings suggest that Bcl-xL inhibition has the potential to selectively target diseased retinal blood vessels, while sparing healthy ones and promoting more functional vasculature in the eye,” according to Przemyslaw Sapieha, PhD. Université de Montréal, Cell Metalbolism
Kubota Vision unveiled their first spectacle-style wearable prototype for myopia control. The device works by projecting myopically defocused virtual images on peripheral visual fields to actively stimulate the retina. Earlier experiments using a larger model suggest the technology could actively stimulate the retina, mitigating changes in axial length. The company acknowledges the challenges of replicating the results and performance from a larger device in the smaller spectacles, but remain optimistic. Kubota Vision
A new study reveals a wide spectrum of telemedicine use among medical specialties during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the report, ophthalmologists were among the specialties with the lowest telemedicine engagement (9%) along with orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists and optometrists. On the other hand, the highest engagement was among endocrinologists, 68% of whom used telemedicine at least once. Eye conditions such as cataract and glaucoma saw a notable drop in visits (61% and 52% decline, respectively) and minimal telemedicine use. The authors note that ophthalmology may have difficulty catching up with delayed routine care using telemedicine, particularly when specialized equipment is necessary for diagnostic examinations. Health Affairs
Could FGFR inhibitor therapy lead to pseudoviteliform maculopathy? A new case report in Ophthalmology Retina details an 84-year-old man who presented with bilateral visual disturbance 1 week after starting erdafitinib for metastatic urothelial carcinoma. Ophthalmoscopy and fundus autofluorescence revealed foveal yellowish deposits that appeared hyperautofluorescent. Imaging by OCT showed subretinal fluid with hyperreflective material attached to thickened/interdigitation zones. Spontaneous regression of subretinal fluid occurred despite continuing treatment. According to the authors, acquired vitelliform lesions may expand the range of ocular events. Ophthalmology Retina