Journal article

Combination Therapy Using Verteporfin and Ranibizumab; Optimizing the Timing in the CAM Model

Combining photodynamic therapy (PDT) using verteporfin (Visudyne(R)) with ranibizumab (Lucentis(R)) can optimize the overall treatment outcome by providing more efficacy in vessel closure, and thus reduce the need for retreatment in patients with wet age-related macular degeneration. In this preclinical study in the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) of the chicken embryo, we compare the vascular occlusion effects of verteporfin and ranibizumab as monotherapies with those observed in the combined therapy. In order to optimize the combination therapy, we varied the timing and sequence of the PDT and antivascular endothelial growth factor modalities. We observed that 1 day after PDT, the smaller blood vessels (null set < 70 mu m) of the CAM were selectively occluded, but as early as 2 days after PDT, both significant reperfusion and regrowth of new vessels were observed. Both these phenomena could be significantly delayed by application of ranibizumab. Ranibizumab itself did not induce any vascular occlusion. Under the applied conditions of combination therapy, the occlusion of the targeted blood vessels could be significantly extended to 3 days in this model compared with 1 day in the case of verteporfin monotherapy. Thus, in the present preclinical study, we demonstrate that for the applied conditions, the optimal time to administer ranibizumab is 24 h after PDT.


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