February 15, 2013
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AAO: Study backs recommendation against routine genetic testing for AMD

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Gene variants that may predict development of age-related macular degeneration do not predict how a person would respond to anti-VEGF therapy, a study found. The American Academy of Ophthalmology said this reinforces its recommendation against routine genetic testing for AMD.

 “The Academy advises against routine genetic testing for AMD and other complex eye disorders until specific treatment or monitoring strategies have been shown in clinical trials to be of benefit to people with specific, risk-linked genotypes,” the AAO said in a press release.

A clinical trial analyzed 834 patients participating in the Comparison of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatment Trials. Each patient was genotyped for the four genetic variants — CFH, ARMS2, HTRA1 and C3 — that are associated with AMD. The researchers then compared genotypic frequencies to therapeutic response to Lucentis (ranibizumab, Genentech) and Avastin (bevacizumab, Genentech) after 1 year of treatment.

The study determined final visual acuity, change in visual acuity, degree of anatomic response and number of injections were not significantly related to the presence of one or more high-risk alleles, Frequency of dosing and whether patients used ranibizumab or bevacizumab also did not play a role, the study authors said.