Lucentis (ranibizumab, Genentech) was approved for use in diabetic retinopathy (DR) patients only last year, but thanks to a newly published JAMA Ophthalmology study, eye care physicians can now apply this treatment with the same confidence as a panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) procedure, as a five-year study shows its efficacy. That’s because both show similar efficacy, according to the research.1,2

The study looked at 191 proliferative DR patients who underwent Lucentis injections and an additional 203 patients who underwent PRP.2 In five years, 184 patients followed up, but even with that relatively low rate, researchers were able to glean that the two treatments had similar impacts.2

For the Lucentis and PRP groups, the mean change in visual acuity was 3.1 and 3.0 letters, respectively. Both groups resulted in 20/25 visual acuities in five years.2 Vision-impairing diabetic macular edema developed in 27 eye treated with Lucentis and 53 treated with PRP. However, the PRP group did achieve these results with fewer injections, 5.4 vs. 19.2 over five years in the Lucentis group.2

“These findings support either anti–vascular endothelial growth factor therapy or PRP as viable treatments for patients with PDR,” the study says.2

Proliferative DR remains the leading cause of blindness among working age adults in the United States, but clinicians’ options are giving patients a fighting chance.1,2

1. Genentech. Press Release. FDA approves Genentech’s Lucentis (ranibizumab injection) for diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness among working age adults in the United States. April 17, 2017. Accessed October 15, 2018.

2. Gross J, Glassman A, Liu D, et al. Five-year outcomes of panretinal photocoagulation vs intravitreous ranibizumab for proliferative diabetic retinopathy; a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2018;136(10):1138-48.