International

Eye cancer study shows promise

{{quote-A:R-W:450-I:2-Q:“Patients with ocular melanoma currently have few treatment options available that can effectively destroy tumour cells while preserving vision. -WHO:Dr Carol L. Shields, Co-director of the Ocular Oncology Service}}The treatment, called light-activated AU-011, involves photodynamic therapy with an experimental drug injected in the eye, which is then activated by laser to selectively eliminate malignant cancer cells without affecting vision.“Patients with ocular melanoma currently have few treatment options available that can effectively destroy tumour cells while preserving vision. Conducting valuable research trials like this one enables clinicians and researchers to examine new and better options for patients throughout the world, Dr Carol L. Shields, co-director of the Ocular Oncology Service at Wills Eye Hospital Massachusetts said.OM sts from abnormal pigmented cells in the eye and is notoriously difficult to detect. It can only be diagnosed through a comprehensive dilated eye exam conducted by an ophthalmologist and often spreads throughout the body before it is found.The new technique uses viral nanoparticle conjugates that are activated by an ophthalmic laser. It is expected to kill the mbranes of the OM cells, while sparing essential eye structures.The trials started early this year and enlisted 12 volunteers with the same medium level of primary OM to evaluate the safety of two-dose levels of AU-011.The test participants have been chosen based on their diagnoses for OM, but have not received prior treatment. The patients will be observed and monitored for the next two years.