Most people with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are all too familiar with the treatment regimen of repeated injections of drugs into their eye. Whilst these injections help preserve vision, they impose a substantial burden on patients with the need for regular appointments at a hospital eye clinic.
A new treatment that aims to reduce the number of eye injections that a patient requires is now being studied in a research trial at a number of hospital locations in England. The treatment uses radiation and is known as stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT).
Patients sit in a chair and a robotically controlled system aims three beams of radiation through the white of the eye, to overlap at the macula. SRT is a one-off, non-surgical procedure that takes about 15 minutes. The total body dose of radiation is about the same as a dental X-ray.
In an earlier clinical trial of SRT the results suggested that for carefully selected patients SRT roughly halves the number of injections that people require, with about a quarter of people needing no further injections. The STAR trial is a new study of SRT and the research team are recruiting patients who require ongoing injections to control their wet AMD.
The SRT is delivered at one of three National Treatment Centres in Sheffield, Birmingham and London. Participating patients are then seen at a local study hospital for monthly check ups and Lucentis treatment if needed.
If you would like more information please contact our helpline 0300 30 30 111 or alternatively call the STAR Trial Manager, Riti Desai, on 020 3299 1297. www.starstudy.org.uk