The leading cause of blindness in the developed world results from several disorders that have pathologic ocular neovascularization as the common pathway leading to vision loss. These disorders include exudative age related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy (DR), retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), retinal vein occlusions (RVO) and ocular tumors. Because neovascularization is the common pathway to blindness in these highly prevalent conditions, the recent understanding of the cascade of angiogenesis has led to clinically available molecular therapeutics that have been proven to restore and preserve vision in patients that suffer from these blinding conditions. This article will summarize the emergence of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) as a validated treatment target for and current understanding of the pathophysiology of ocular neovascularization. The article will then cover promising future strategies and therapeutic targets that are aimed at enhancing the efficacy and/or duration of effect of these clinically available anti-VEGF strategies. In particular molecules that target, VEGF, PDGF, Complement, Inflammation and Integrins that are entering or are currently in clinical trials will be reviewed.
Keywords: Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), Complement, Diabetic Retinopathy (DR), Ranibizumab, Pegaptanib, Bevacizumab, Bevasiranib, Integrins
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