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Bevacizumab Versus Ranibizumab for Diabetic Retinopathy

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00545870
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : October 17, 2007
Last Update Posted : April 15, 2015
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth, M.D., Medical University of Vienna

Brief Summary:

Treatment of diabetic macular edema with perifoveal focal/grid laser coagulation was found to be effective saving the visual acuity only in 50% of patients and only 3-14% of treated patients had an improved visual acuity postoperatively. The decent results of lasercoagulation are associated with potential side effects, as focal scotomas, change of color discrimination and development of epiretinal gliosis. The frequency of perifoveal laser treatments is anatomically limited in case of diabetic macular edema: after application of about 350 coagulates there is no possibility to repeat the laser treatment perifoveolar without creating confluent lasercoagulates and causing significant scotomas. In case of persistence of edema in spite of complete perifoveal grid coagulation, no standard therapy exists. Some previous studies investigated the effect of steroids in patients with diabetic macular edema unresponsive to grid laser photocoagulation, but the benefit on the visual acuity was only temporary and the intravitreal application was associated with significant side effects as cataract progression (up to 50%) and ocular hypertension (up to 20%).

In the Diabetic Retinopathy Study the 4-years rate for severe vision loss in patients with high-risk retinopathy was 20.4 %. In cases of proliferative retinopathy, panretinal (scatter) photocoagulation can reduce the risk for development of high-risk retinopathy by 50% over 6 years. When panretinal lasercoagulation is initiated, about 2000 laser spots are equally distributed in all four quadrants. Since panretinal photocoagulation bares risks like loss of field of vision, central vision reduction and loss of colour vision, this treatment can not be continued unlimited.

In cases of persisting neovascularisations in spite of panretinal photocoagulation, no evidence based therapy exists. There is a high risk for intravitreal bleeding, rubeosis, secondary glaucoma with severe vision loss. When fibrovascular proliferation leads to retinal detachment, vitreo-retinal surgery might be indicated.

Now we know that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is the major angiogenic stimulus responsible for increase of vasopermeability, cellproliferation and angiogenesis in diabetic retinopathy (DRP). Several studies, evaluating VEGF levels in vitreous, have indicated a role for VEGF in diabetic macular edema: vitreous samples of patients with diabetic macular edema contain elevated VEGF concentration and VEGF injected in experimental studies results in breakdown of the blood-retina barrier.

There is increasing evidence for a therapeutic role of anti-VEGF drugs not only in age-related macular degeneration but also in other diseases as in diabetic macular edema. Intravitreal injections have become the most favored treatment procedure for administering anti-VEGF drugs.

The side effects and the decent results of laser treatment on the visual acuity in diabetic macular edema led to studies using anti-VEGF therapy. Unpublished study results on the aptamer pegaptanib (Macugen™) are promising. A study using the antibody fragment Ranibizumab (Lucentis™) in patiens with diabetic macula edema is in progress. Ranibizumab is now approved to be used as an intravitreal injection.

Currently there is one additional anti-VEGF drug already on the market: Bevacizumab (Avastin™), which has approved as intravenous infusion for the treatment of metastatic colo-rectal cancer. Previous studies have shown that systemic use of Bevacizumab (Avastin™) can obtain very promising results on patients with choroidal neovascularisation (CNV) by age-related macular degenetration. This drug, a monoclonal full-length antibody, designed to bind all isoforms of VEGF is a large molecule. But case reports in patients with CNV caused by age-related macular degeneration and with macular edema from central retinal vein occlusion indicate that intravitreally given Bevacizumab (Avastin™) is effective in diseases originating from the choroids and the retina, too. These findings imply a sufficient penetration of the retina by Bevacizumab (Avastin™).

Based on these new findings and the important role of VEGF in diabetic retinopathy, we propose a pilot study for treatment of persistent diabetic macular edema or persisting active neovascularistaions following lasercoagulation with intravitreally administered Bevacizumab (Avastin™) or Ranibizumab (Lucentis™).

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Diabetic Retinopathy Diabetic Macular Edema Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Drug: bevacizumab Drug: Ranibizumab Phase 3

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 30 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Triple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Randomized, Double-masked Study With Intraocular Bevacizumab Compared With Intravitreal Ranibizumab in Patients With Persistent Diabetic Macular Edema or Persistent Active Neovascularisation Following Lasercoagulation
Study Start Date : June 2008
Actual Primary Completion Date : March 2013
Actual Study Completion Date : April 2013

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: A
Bevacizumab treatment
Drug: bevacizumab
intravitreal application

Active Comparator: B
Ranibizumab treatment
Drug: Ranibizumab
intravitreal application

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. To investigate the change in macular edema and the absolute change in visual acuity. To investigate the change of neovascularisation. [ Time Frame: 12 Months ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age ≥18 years
  • Patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • HbA1C between 6% and 9 %.
  • Patients with persistent diabetic macular edema with center involvement following completed grid lasercoagulation in the study eye
  • Patients with persistent active neovascularisations following completed panretinal lasercoagulation (at least 2000 spots) in the study eye
  • Last perifoveolar laser treatment 3 months before study entry
  • Central macular thickness (macular edema) of at least 300 - 550 microns in the central subfield as measured by OCT
  • Not eligible for any currently approved treatments or experimental protocols
  • Best corrected visual acuity, using ETDRS charts, of 20/25 to 20/200 (Snellen equivalent) in the study eye
  • Patients with decrease in vision in the study eye due to foveal thickening from diabetic macular edema and not to other causes, in the opinion of the investigator

Exclusion Criteria:

  • A condition that would preclude a patient for participation in the study in opinion of investigator, e.g., unstable medical status including glycemic control and blood pressure
  • History of systemic corticosteroids within 3 months prior to randomization or topical, rectal or inhaled corticosteroids in current use more than 3 times per week
  • Panretinal laser photocoagulation within the past 3 months or macular laser photocoagulation within the past 3 months in the study eye
  • Previous treatment with intravitreal or sub-Tenon triamcinolone within the past 3 months in the study eye
  • Previous participation in clinical trial involving anti-angiogenic drugs (pegabtanib sodium, ranibizumab, anecortave acetate, protein kinase C inhibitor, etc.)
  • History of submacular surgery or other surgical intervention for diabetic macular edema except grid lasercoagulation in the study eye
  • Previous participation in any studies of investigational drugs within 1 month preceding Day 0 (excluding vitamins and minerals)

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00545870

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Department of Ophthalmology, Medical University of Vienna
Vienna, Austria, 1090
Sponsors and Collaborators
Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth, M.D.
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Principal Investigator: Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth, MD Dep. of Ophthalmology, Medical University of Vienna
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Responsible Party: Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth, M.D., Head of Department, Medical University of Vienna Identifier: NCT00545870    
Other Study ID Numbers: 238/2006
First Posted: October 17, 2007    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: April 15, 2015
Last Verified: April 2015
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Macular Edema
Retinal Diseases
Diabetic Retinopathy
Macular Degeneration
Retinal Degeneration
Eye Diseases
Diabetic Angiopathies
Vascular Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases
Diabetes Complications
Diabetes Mellitus
Endocrine System Diseases
Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
Antineoplastic Agents
Angiogenesis Inhibitors
Angiogenesis Modulating Agents
Growth Substances
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Growth Inhibitors