Patients who risk losing their sight through age-related eye conditions are being given new hope as Central Middlesex Hospital offers clinical trials of the latest drugs and procedures.
The hospital, part of London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, is encouraging people to come forward and benefit from treatment not previously available in this area of London.
Wet age-related macular degeneration primarily affects over 50s with sight lost in the middle of the eye leaving only peripheral vision, while diabetic macular oedema is the most common cause of sight loss in diabetics.
Brent and Harrow have among the highest number of diabetics in the UK.
At present, patients suffering from these conditions have a monthly injection costing up to £800 per treatment and typically undergo a course of 8-10 injections in the first year. More than 400,000 injections are delivered per year in eye departments across the UK.
One of the new trials involves the use of radiotherapy to reduce the number of injections patients with wet age-related macular degeneration require in a year.
A second trial involves the use of a new injected therapy that can last three months or longer in patients with wet age-related macular degeneration, reducing the number required to four or less in a year.
Christiana Dinah, an eye specialist and research lead at the hospital said: “We are experiencing an exponential increase in patients with age-related macular degeneration requiring treatment.
“We’re keen to get the word out that people can take part in clinical trials and potentially benefit from drugs and treatments that won’t be on the market for years.”
“We want people to have a good experience of research and there are opportunities out there to access treatment that are not yet offered across the rest of the NHS. “
Anyone interested in finding out more about the trials should speak to their optician or contact the eye clinic through the hospital switchboard on 020 8965 5733