Vision loss secondary to Choroidal Neovascularization (CNV) is becoming a major disease condition in the developed world. CNV is typically secondary to Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and these conditions are major, and also substantially increasing, causes of blindness among aged people. Several therapeutic options are currently available to treat CNV with variable efficacy on disease progress. Among existing treatments there are laser photocoagulation, photodynamic therapies, local corticosteroids and, more recently, the use of anti-angiogenic factors. Although by these treatments very effective results are obtained and their further improvement is still possible, it is also reasonable and necessary to look for more successful and definitive alternatives. The research in this direction is already very active and it can be expected that applications of the more recent molecular technologies will bring important advances also for CNV. These will likely regard the use of gene therapy and of new target specific factors. Gene therapy methodologies are rapidly becoming closer to current clinical use and, since the eye is a particularly favorable organ for drug delivery, their ocular use is probably going to be among the first successful applications of these techniques. In addition to its specific technology, gene therapy requires the knowledge of specific genes to be modulated to adequately affect pathogenesis and progression of the disease for which it has to be applied. This will also be true for the use of novel target specific drugs such as antibodies and other molecules able to affect cellular factors and pathways also related to disease development. For this reason, a major direction of future CNV therapies will be the identification of specific gene, gene products, metabolic pathways and metabolites related to the disease. This information, in addition to be suitable for gene and target specific therapies, will also allow the development of new procedures to improve diagnosis and/or prognostic evaluation of the disease.
Keywords: Choroidal neovascularization, macular degeneration, diagnostics, targeted therapies, laser photocoagulation, photodynamic therapies, local corticosteroids, gene therapy, juxtafoveal, extrafoveal lesions, retinal neurons, subfoveal lesions, synergistic effects, spectrometry, transcriptomics, proteomics, epigenomis, metabolomics, Genomics, methylation, copy number variations, chromosomal rearrangement, bioinformatics, open reading frame, oligonucleotides, prostate cancer metabolome, gas-chromatography, sarcosine, vectors, Adenoviruses, herpes simplex virus, Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE), retinal gene therapy, blood, –, retinal barriers, Pigment Epithelium-Derived Factor (PEDF), Nanoparticle Gene Therapy, organic, inorganic polymers, polylactide, polylactide-co-glycolide, acrylic polymers, liposomes, dendrimers, Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP), arginine, glycine, aspartic acid, transferrin, Antisense RNA, Therapeutic Antibodies
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