Compared with intravitreous ranibizumab (Lucentis, Genentech), the decreases in the plasma-free vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels were greater with intravitreous aflibercept (Eylea, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals) and bevacizumab (Avastin, Genentech) in patients with diabetic macular edema (DME).
According to an analysis of patients in the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network (DRCR.net) Protocol T study, it was indicated that greater decreases in VEGF-free plasma levels are seen with aflibercept and bevacizumab than with ranibizumab and that the VEGF plasma levels are unrelated to development of systemic complications.
A pre-planned secondary analysis included in Protocol T assessed the effect of aflibercept, bevacizumab, and ranibizumab on systemic-free VEGF-A levels and then compared the changes across the 3 treatments.
“This was done because these drugs are known to enter the systemic circulation to some extent and may have caused systemic side effects,” Lee M. Jampol, MD, said.
The investigators reported their results online in Ophthalmology (March 7, 2018). Dr. Jampol, the Louis Feinberg, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology, Northwestern University, Chicago, outlined the results.
The analysis also included an evaluation to identify a correlation between the plasma VEGF levels and key systemic factors.