A highlight of the EURETINA Congress held in Vienna in September was the announcement, for the first time, of the results of a study which showed that a new laser treatment - known as Retinal Rejuvenation Therapy or 2RT - reverses the ageing changes in Macular Degeneration (AMD) and leads to a substantial reduction in advancement to the late stages of AMD, including Wet AMD.
Up until this time, there has been no treatment for Dry AMD and the worry for many with this disease has been that there was no preventive therapy that could reduce their chances of progressing to the late stages of Wet AMD.
It now appears likely that there will soon be a laser that, simply and painlessly applied to the eye in the clinic over a few minutes, could prevent the late stages of AMD and the risk of requiring monthly eye injections for life!
It is very pleasing that the study was conducted in our Victorian capital city of Melbourne, at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, and that the new laser is built just across our state border, in Adelaide!
It was a privilege to attend the EURETINA Congress, a meeting of the European Society of Retina Specialists, held in Vienna in September. Apart from the simply awesome city which was the venue of the meeting, it was gratifying to learn that much of the latest technology available to the world, in terms of the diagnosis and treatment of retinal and macular diseases, is also currently available right here in the south west of Victoria.
Nevertheless, there was also much to discover in relation to new technology and treatment modalities that are just on the horizon.
For example, I was very excited to learn that a number of longer acting drugs and a slow release device are about to be introduced, which will mean that patients, who need regular eye injections for macular disease will soon see benefits in reduced frequency of injections and a longer interval between injections of up to 6 months!