Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of visual impairment and preventable blindness, and represents a significant socioeconomic cost for health care systems worldwide. Therefore, new approaches beyond current standards of diabetes care are needed. Based on the crucial pathogenic role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the development of diabetic macular edema (DME), intravitreal anti-VEGF agents have emerged as new treatments. To provide an understanding of the rationale for use and clinical efficacy of anti-VEGF treatment, we examine this topic in a two-part Bench to Clinic narrative. In the Bench narrative, we provide an overview of the role of VEGF in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy, the molecular characteristics of anti-VEGF agents currently used, and future perspectives and challenges in this area. In the Clinic narrative that follows our contribution, Cheung et al. provide an overview of the current evidence from clinical trials on anti-VEGF therapy for diabetic retinopathy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing