First off I’m trying not to actually think about the prospect of having a needle put into my eye whilst I am awake, I know I won’t feel it because my eye will be numbed but still for most people I think it is a fairly horrific prospect.
My consultant has asked my PCT (primary care trust) for funding to treat me with Avastin a drug originally used to treat colon cancer; by injecting it into the eye it can be used to get rid of the blood vessels that should not be there. (it’s the leaky blood vessels that have just caused me to lose some vision in my right eye and will if left untreated result in losing all the sight in my right eye)
Surprisingly I typed in ‘Avastin’ and ‘eye’ into Google and got up a result page that actually talks about the cause of the blood vessels in my case (high myopia) and the fact that it is not just old people who get the probelm, have a look if you get a chance at www.maculacenter.com/Procedures/Avastin.htm.
A cut down version:
“There are other eye conditions that cause loss of vision due to abnormal growth of blood vessels in the back of the eye. These can occur even in young patients, and include, but are not limited to, conditions such as high myopia (nearsightedness), histoplasmosis, angioid streaks, and eye injury. Sometimes there is no known reason for the abnormal blood vessels. Without treatment, vision loss may be quick and severe.
POSSIBLE BENEFITS AND “OFF-LABEL” STATUS
AvastinTM was not initially developed to treat your eye condition. Based upon the results of clinical trials demonstrated its safety and effectiveness, AvastinTM was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. As a condition of approval, the manufacturer produced a “label” explaining the indications, risks, and benefits. The label explains that AvastinTM works by blocking a substance known as vascular endothelial growth factor orVEGF. Blocking or inhibiting VEGF helps prevent further growth of the blood vessels that the cancer needs to continue growing.
Once a device or medication is approved by the FDA, physicians may use it “off-label” for other purposes if they are well-informed about the product, base its use on firm scientific method and sound medical evidence, and maintain records of its use and effects. Ophthalmologists are using AvastinTM “off-label” to treat AMD and similar conditions since research indicates that VEGF is one of the causes for the growth of the abnormal vessels that cause these conditions. Some patients treated with AvastinTMhad less fluid and more normal-appearing maculas, and their vision improved. AvastinTM is also used, therefore, to treat macular edema, or swelling of the macula.”
So there we are then I will, if the PCT decide to fund it be getting treatment to hopefully stop me going blind in my right eye very quickly, I have just one question:
Anyone think they can stomach holding my hand while I have it done?