According to the Phoenix Business Journal a new treatment to prevent blindness from Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) in premature infants was performed in Scottsdale, Arizona. ROP is one of the most common causes of visual loss in children. This new treatment uses the cancer drug Avastin. The Avastin is injected directly into the eye to reverse the effects from the ROP. The alternate treatment is laser which has been used for years, but can cause damage to eyes and is not always 100% successful.
Dr. James Plotnik, consulting pediatric ophthalmologist at Scottsdale Healthcare, injected avastin into a preemie with ROP and the retinas now look completely normal. Although he states this is still early on he is very optimistic that the infant will have normal vision. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine it was stated that Avastin is far more effective at preventing blindness in preemies than laser.
Jennine Lutz, O.D.