May 2021

Ghaffarieh A, Ciolino JB. Potential of Application of Iron Chelating Agents in Ophthalmic Diseases. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):157-161.Abstract
The investigations discussed in this review indicate that iron may exacerbate different eye diseases. Therefore, it is plausible that reducing cellular or body iron stores could influence disease pathogenesis, so it is logical to consider the iron chelators' potential protective role in the various ophthalmic diseases in the form of topical eye drops or slow releasing injectable compounds as an adjuvant treatment.
Gjerde H, Mantagos IS. Charting the Globe: How Technologies Have Affected Our Understanding of Retinal Findings in Abusive Head Trauma/Shaken Baby Syndrome. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):205-209.Abstract
Purpose: Ocular findings such as retinal hemorrhages are common in abusive head trauma (AHT). Binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy has been the standard for assessing the eyes of children who are victims of AHT. However, technological advances have changed our understanding of retinal findings in AHT.Methods: Literature review on AHT - retinal findings, imaging technologies, models of representation, and telemedicine applications.Results: Many studies suggest vitreoretinal traction from repetitive acceleration-deceleration shearing forces during shaking plays an important role in the development of retinal findings in AHT. This is further supported by different imaging modalities [optical coherence tomography (OCT); magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); fluorescein angiography (FA)] and models of representation (animal and mechanical models; finite element analysis).Conclusion: Emerging technologies have augmented our diagnostic abilities, enhanced our understanding regarding the pathophysiology of retinal findings, and strengthened the link between vitreoretinal traction and ocular pathology in AHT. Telemedicine is also starting to play an important role in AHT.
Gong D, Kras A, Miller JB. Application of Deep Learning for Diagnosing, Classifying, and Treating Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):198-204.Abstract
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects nearly 200 million people and is the third leading cause of irreversible vision loss worldwide. Deep learning, a branch of artificial intelligence that can learn image recognition based on pre-existing datasets, creates an opportunity for more accurate and efficient diagnosis, classification, and treatment of AMD on both individual and population levels. Current algorithms based on fundus photography and optical coherence tomography imaging have already achieved diagnostic accuracy levels comparable to human graders. This accuracy can be further increased when deep learning algorithms are simultaneously applied to multiple diagnostic imaging modalities. Combined with advances in telemedicine and imaging technology, deep learning can enable large populations of patients to be screened than would otherwise be possible and allow ophthalmologists to focus on seeing those patients who are in need of treatment, thus reducing the number of patients with significant visual impairment from AMD.
Greenwald SH, Brown EE, Scandura MJ, Hennessey E, Farmer R, Du J, Wang Y, Pierce EA. Mutant Nmnat1 leads to a retina-specific decrease of NAD+ accompanied by increased poly(ADP-ribose) in a mouse model of NMNAT1-associated retinal degeneration. Hum Mol Genet 2021;30(8):644-657.Abstract
Nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase 1 (NMNAT1) is required for nuclear nicotinamide adenine mononucleotide (NAD+) biosynthesis in all nucleated cells, and despite its functional ubiquity, mutations in this gene lead to an isolated retinal degeneration. The mechanisms underlying how mutant NMNAT1 causes disease are not well understood, nor is the reason why the pathology is confined to the retina. Using a mouse model of NMNAT1-associated retinal degeneration that harbors the p.Val9Met mutation, we tested the hypothesis that decreased function of mutant NMNAT1 has a greater effect on the levels of NAD+ in the retina than elsewhere in the body. Measurements by liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry showed an early and sustained decrease of NAD+ in mutant retinas that was not observed in other tissues. To understand how consumers of nuclear NAD+ are affected by the reduced availability of NAD+ in mutant retinas, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and nuclear sirtuin activity were evaluated. PARP activity was elevated during disease progression, as evidenced by overproduction of poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) in photoreceptors, whereas histone deacetylation activity of nuclear sirtuins was not altered. We hypothesized that PARP could be activated because of elevated levels of oxidative stress; however, we did not observe oxidative DNA damage, lipid peroxidation, or a low glutathione to oxidized glutathione ratio. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling staining revealed that photoreceptors appear to ultimately die by apoptosis, although the low NAD+ levels and overproduction of PAR suggest that cell death may include aspects of the parthanatos cell death pathway.
Gupta PK, Venkateswaran N. The role of KPI-121 0.25% in the treatment of dry eye disease: penetrating the mucus barrier to treat periodic flares. Ther Adv Ophthalmol 2021;13:25158414211012797.Abstract
The tear film, which includes mucins that adhere to foreign particles, rapidly clears allergens and pathogens from the ocular surface, protecting the underlying tissues. However, the tear film's ability to efficiently remove foreign particles during blinking can also pose challenges for topical drug delivery, as traditional eye drops (solutions and suspensions) are cleared from the ocular surface before the drug can penetrate into the conjunctival and corneal epithelium. In the past 15 years, there has been an increase in the development of nanoparticles with specialized coatings that have reduced affinity to mucins and are small enough in size to pass through the mucus barrier. These mucus-penetrating particles (MPPs) have been shown to efficiently penetrate the mucus barrier and reach the ocular surface tissues. Dry eye disease (DED) is a common inflammatory ocular surface disorder that often presents with periodic flares (exacerbations). However, currently approved immunomodulatory treatments for DED are intended for long-term use. Thus, there is a need for effective short-term treatments that can address intermittent flares of DED. Loteprednol etabonate, an ocular corticosteroid, was engineered to break down rapidly after administration to the ocular surface tissues and thereby reduce risks associated with other topical steroids. KPI-121 is an ophthalmic suspension that uses the MPP technology to deliver loteprednol etabonate more efficiently to the ocular tissues, achieving in animal models a 3.6-fold greater penetration of loteprednol etabonate to the cornea than traditional loteprednol etabonate ophthalmic suspensions. In clinical trials, short-term treatment with KPI-121 0.25% significantly reduced signs and symptoms of DED compared with its vehicle (placebo). Recently approved KPI-121 0.25%, with its novel drug delivery design and ease of use, has the potential to effectively treat periodic flares of DED experienced by many patients.
Huang G, Melki S. Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE): Myths and Realities. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):140-148.Abstract
The emergence of SMILE in the last decade has provided an alternative to LASIK for patients considering cornea laser refractive surgery. SMILE offers a novel approach using the femtosecond laser to create an intrastromal lenticule that can be removed through a small three to four millimeter incision.The purpose of this study is to review the recent literature on popular SMILE claims - reduced iatrogenic dry eye, better recovery of corneal sensation, and a biomechanically stronger cornea - summarize the published outcomes, and determine which claims are myths versus realities.SMILE is still in its infancy as a refractive technique in the US after recent USFDA approval for its treatment of myopia astigmatism in October 2018. Future randomized controlled studies are needed to compare its outcomes to LASIK, which has well-documented good visual outcomes, rapid postoperative recovery, and good safety profile.
Imamura M, Takahashi A, Matsunami M, Horikoshi M, Iwata M, Araki S-I, Toyoda M, Susarla G, Ahn J, Park KH, Kong J, Moon S, Sobrin L, and (iDRAGON) IDRGCON, Yamauchi T, Tobe K, Maegawa H, Kadowaki T, Maeda S. Genome-wide association studies identify two novel loci conferring susceptibility to diabetic retinopathy in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes. Hum Mol Genet 2021;30(8):716-726.Abstract
Several reports have suggested that genetic susceptibility contributes to the development and progression of diabetic retinopathy. We aimed to identify genetic loci that confer susceptibility to diabetic retinopathy in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes. We analysed 5 790 508 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 8880 Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes, 4839 retinopathy cases and 4041 controls, as well as 2217 independent Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes, 693 retinopathy cases and 1524 controls. The results of these two genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were combined with an inverse variance meta-analysis (Stage-1), followed by de novo genotyping for the candidate SNP loci (P < 1.0 × 10-4) in an independent case-control study (Stage-2, 2260 cases and 723 controls). After combining the association data (Stages 1 and 2) using meta-analysis, the associations of two loci reached a genome-wide significance level: rs12630354 near STT3B on chromosome 3, P = 1.62 × 10-9, odds ratio (OR) = 1.17, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.11-1.23, and rs140508424 within PALM2 on chromosome 9, P = 4.19 × 10-8, OR = 1.61, 95% CI 1.36-1.91. However, the association of these two loci was not replicated in Korean, European or African American populations. Gene-based analysis using Stage-1 GWAS data identified a gene-level association of EHD3 with susceptibility to diabetic retinopathy (P = 2.17 × 10-6). In conclusion, we identified two novel SNP loci, STT3B and PALM2, and a novel gene, EHD3, that confers susceptibility to diabetic retinopathy; however, further replication studies are required to validate these associations.
Jabroun MN, AlWattar BK, Fulton AB. Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography in Prematurity. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):264-269.Abstract
Purpose: During normal foveal development there is a close interaction between the neurosensory and vascular elements of the fovea making it vulnerable to prematurity and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). We aim to assess this potential effect on foveal development in preterms evaluated simultaneously with both optical coherence tomography (OCT) and OCT angiography (OCTA).Method: Unrestricted literature search in the PubMed and Cochrane library databases yielded 20 distinct citations. Fifteen were relevant and reviewed.Results: In preterms, OCTA demonstrated a significant decrease in the foveal avascular zone area and an increase in foveal vessel density. OCT showed a decrease in foveal pit depth and an increase in the thickness of the subfoveal retinal layers. Some studies correlated these changes with reduced vision.Conclusion: Changes in the vascular and neurosensory retina were found in premature children. It remains unclear whether this is related to prematurity alone or ROP and its treatment.
Jacoba CMP, Celi LA, Silva PS. Biomarkers for Progression in Diabetic Retinopathy: Expanding Personalized Medicine through Integration of AI with Electronic Health Records. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):250-257.Abstract
The goal of personalized diabetes eye care is to accurately predict in real-time the risk of diabetic retinopathy (DR) progression and visual loss. The use of electronic health records (EHR) provides a platform for artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that predict DR progression to be incorporated into clinical decision-making. By implementing an algorithm on data points from each patient, their risk for retinopathy progression and visual loss can be modeled, allowing them to receive timely treatment. Data can guide algorithms to create models for disease and treatment that may pave the way for more personalized care. Currently, there exist numerous challenges that need to be addressed before reliably building and deploying AI algorithms, including issues with data quality, privacy, intellectual property, and informed consent.
Jafari A, von Sneidern M, Lehmann AE, Shen SA, Shishido S, Freitag SK, Bleier BS. Exclusively endoscopic endonasal resection of benign orbital tumors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int Forum Allergy Rhinol 2021;11(5):924-934.Abstract
BACKGROUND: The Cavernous Hemangioma Exclusively Endonasal Resection (CHEER) classification system was developed to standardize prospective outcome analysis following orbital cavernous hemangioma (OCH) resection. The goal of this study was to retroactively apply the CHEER system to all prior existing reports of endoscopic resection of primary benign orbital tumors (BOTs) to: (1) compare patient presentations, perioperative characteristics, and outcomes between OCH and other BOTs; and (2) determine whether the CHEER categorization regime could be expanded to other BOTs. METHODS: A systematic review of studies reporting exclusively endoscopic resections of OCH and other BOTs (eg, solitary fibrous tumor, schwannoma, and meningioma) was performed. Patient, tumor characteristics, and operative outcomes were recorded. All tumors with adequate reporting were retrospectively assigned a CHEER stage. Outcomes were compared using chi-square or Fisher's exact tests. RESULTS: Ninety-three studies met inclusion criteria, and sufficient data were available in 36 studies, comprising 105 tumors (n = 87 OCHs; n = 18 other BOTs). Baseline patient and tumor characteristics, as well as intraoperative and short-term postoperative outcomes were not significantly different between OCHs and other BOTs. Long-term outcomes (eg, visual deficits, diplopia, eye position, and recurrence) also did not differ when controlling for CHEER stage. CONCLUSION: This review represents the largest collection of outcomes data following exclusively endoscopic endonasal resection of BOTs. Short-term and long-term outcomes appear similar between OCHs and other BOTs. These results suggest that exclusively endoscopic resection of orbital tumors may be effective in a range of benign pathologies. Furthermore, these results support a broader application of the CHEER system to other benign primary orbital tumors.
Jurgens JA, Barry BJ, Lemire G, Chan W-M, Whitman MC, Shaaban S, Robson CD, MacKinnon S, England EM, McMillan HJ, Kelly C, Pratt BM, Pratt BM, O'Donnell-Luria A, MacArthur DG, Boycott KM, Hunter DG, Engle EC. Novel variants in TUBA1A cause congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles with or without malformations of cortical brain development. Eur J Hum Genet 2021;29(5):816-826.Abstract
Variants in multiple tubulin genes have been implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders, including malformations of cortical development (MCD) and congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles (CFEOM). Distinct missense variants in the beta-tubulin encoding genes TUBB3 and TUBB2B cause MCD, CFEOM, or both, suggesting substitution-specific mechanisms. Variants in the alpha tubulin-encoding gene TUBA1A have been associated with MCD, but not with CFEOM. Using exome sequencing (ES) and genome sequencing (GS), we identified 3 unrelated probands with CFEOM who harbored novel heterozygous TUBA1A missense variants c.1216C>G, p.(His406Asp); c.467G>A, p.(Arg156His); and c.1193T>G, p.(Met398Arg). MRI revealed small oculomotor-innervated muscles and asymmetrical caudate heads and lateral ventricles with or without corpus callosal thinning. Two of the three probands had MCD. Mutated amino acid residues localize either to the longitudinal interface at which α and β tubulins heterodimerize (Met398, His406) or to the lateral interface at which tubulin protofilaments interact (Arg156), and His406 interacts with the motor domain of kinesin-1. This series of individuals supports TUBA1A variants as a cause of CFEOM and expands our knowledge of tubulinopathies.
Kanu LN, Ciolino JB. Nerve Growth Factor as an Ocular Therapy: Applications, Challenges, and Future Directions. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):224-231.Abstract
Nerve growth factor (NGF), the prototypical neurotrophin first discovered in the 1950s, has recently garnered increased interest as a therapeutic agent promoting neuronal health and regeneration. After gaining orphan drug status within the last decade, NGF-related research and drug development has accelerated. The purpose of this article is to review the preclinical and clinical evidence of NGF in various applications, including central and peripheral nervous system, skin, and ophthalmic disorders. We focus on the ophthalmic applications including not only the FDA-approved indication of neurotrophic keratitis but also retinal disease and glaucoma. NGF represents a promising therapy whose therapeutic profile is evolving. The challenges related to this therapy are reviewed, along with possible solutions and future directions.
Keffeler EC, Iyer VS, Parthasarathy S, Ramsey MM, Gorman MJ, Barke TL, Varahan S, Olson S, Gilmore MS, Abdullahi ZH, Hancock EN, Hancock LE. Influence of the Alternative Sigma Factor RpoN on Global Gene Expression and Carbon Catabolism in Enterococcus faecalis V583. mBio 2021;12(3)Abstract
The alternative sigma factor σ54 has been shown to regulate the expression of a wide array of virulence-associated genes, as well as central metabolism, in bacterial pathogens. In Gram-positive organisms, the σ54 is commonly associated with carbon metabolism. In this study, we show that the Enterococcus faecalis alternative sigma factor σ54 (RpoN) and its cognate enhancer binding protein MptR are essential for mannose utilization and are primary contributors to glucose uptake through the Mpt phosphotransferase system. To gain further insight into how RpoN contributes to global transcriptional changes, we performed microarray transcriptional analysis of strain V583 and an isogenic rpoN mutant grown in a chemically defined medium with glucose as the sole carbon source. Transcripts of 340 genes were differentially affected in the rpoN mutant; the predicted functions of these genes mainly related to nutrient acquisition. These differentially expressed genes included those with predicted catabolite-responsive element (cre) sites, consistent with loss of repression by the major carbon catabolite repressor CcpA. To determine if the inability to efficiently metabolize glucose/mannose affected infection outcome, we utilized two distinct infection models. We found that the rpoN mutant is significantly attenuated in both rabbit endocarditis and murine catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI). Here, we examined a ccpA mutant in the CAUTI model and showed that the absence of carbon catabolite control also significantly attenuates bacterial tissue burden in this model. Our data highlight the contribution of central carbon metabolism to growth of E. faecalis at various sites of infection.IMPORTANCE Hospital-acquired infections account for 2 billion dollars annually in increased health care expenses and cause more than 100,000 deaths in the United States alone. Enterococci are the second leading cause of hospital-acquired infections. They form biofilms at surgical sites and are often associated with infections of the urinary tract following catheterization. Nutrient uptake and growth are key factors that influence their ability to cause disease. Our research identified a large set of genes that illuminate nutrient uptake pathways in enterococci. Perturbation of the metabolic circuit reduces virulence in a rabbit endocarditis model, as well as in catheter-associated urinary tract infection in mice. Targeting metabolic pathways that are important in infection may lead to new treatments against multidrug-resistant enterococcal infections.
Khajavi M, Zhou Y, Schiffer AJ, Bazinet L, Birsner AE, Zon L, D'Amato RJ. Identification of Basp1 as a novel angiogenesis-regulating gene by multi-model system studies. FASEB J 2021;35(5):e21404.Abstract
We have previously used the genetic diversity available in common inbred mouse strains to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) responsible for the differences in angiogenic response using the corneal micropocket neovascularization (CoNV) assay. Employing a mouse genome-wide association study (GWAS) approach, the region on chromosome 15 containing Basp1 was identified as being significantly associated with angiogenesis in inbred strains. Here, we developed a unique strategy to determine and verify the role of BASP1 in angiogenic pathways. Basp1 expression in cornea had a strong correlation with a haplotype shared by mouse strains with varied angiogenic phenotypes. In addition, inhibition of BASP1 demonstrated a dosage-dependent effect in both primary mouse brain endothelial and human microvascular endothelial cell (HMVEC) migration. To investigate its role in vivo, we knocked out basp1 in transgenic kdrl:zsGreen zebrafish embryos using a widely adopted CRISPR-Cas9 system. These embryos had severely disrupted vessel formation compared to control siblings. We further show that basp1 promotes angiogenesis by upregulating β-catenin gene and the Dll4/Notch1 signaling pathway. These results, to the best of our knowledge, provide the first in vivo evidence to indicate the role of Basp1 as an angiogenesis-regulating gene and opens the potential therapeutic avenues for a wide variety of systemic angiogenesis-dependent diseases.
Kumar V, Ali Shariati M, Mesentier-Louro L, Jinsook Oh A, Russano K, Goldberg JL, Liao YJ. Dual Specific Phosphatase 14 Deletion Rescues Retinal Ganglion Cells and Optic Nerve Axons after Experimental Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. Curr Eye Res 2021;46(5):710-718.Abstract
PURPOSE: Understanding molecular changes is essential for designing effective treatments for nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (AION), the most common acute optic neuropathy in adults older than 50 years. We investigated changes in the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway after experimental AION and focused on dual specificity phosphatase 14 (Dusp14), an atypical MAPK phosphatase that is downstream of Krüppel-like transcription factor (KLF) 9-mediated inhibition of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) survival and axonal regeneration. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We induced severe AION in a photochemical thrombosis model in adult C57BL/6 wild-type and Dusp14 knockout mice. For comparison, some studies were performed using an optic nerve crush model. We assessed changes in MAPK pathway molecules using Western blot and immunohistochemistry, measured retinal thickness using optical coherence tomography (OCT), and quantified RGCs and axons using histologic methods. RESULTS: Three days after severe AION, there was no change in the retinal protein levels of MAPK ERK1/2, phosphorylated-ERK1/2 (pERK1/2), downstream effector Elk-1 and phosphatase Dusp14 on Western blot. Western blot analysis of purified RGCs after a more severe model using optic nerve crush also showed no change in Dusp14 protein expression. Because of the known importance of the Dusp14 and MAPK pathway in RGCs, we examined changes after AION in Dusp14 knockout mice. Three days after AION, Dusp14 knockout mice had significantly increased pERK1/2+, Brn3A+ RGCs on immunohistochemistry. Three weeks after AION, Dusp14 knockout mice had significantly greater preservation of retinal thickness, increased number of Brn3A+ RGCs on whole mount preparation, and increased number of optic nerve axons compared with wild-type mice. CONCLUSIONS: Genetic deletion of Dusp14, a MAPK phosphatase important in KFL9-mediated inhibition of RGC survival, led to increased activation of MAPK ERK1/2 and greater RGC and axonal survival after experimental AION. Inhibiting Dusp14 or activating the MAPK pathway should be examined further as a potential therapeutic approach to treatment of AION. Abbreviations: AION: anterior ischemic optic neuropathy; Dusp14: dual specific phosphatase 14; ERK1/2: extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2; Elk-1: ETS Like-1 protein; GCC: ganglion cell complex; GCL: ganglion cell layer; inner nuclear layer; KO: knockout; MAPK: mitogen-activated phosphokinase; OCT: optical coherence tomography; RGC: retinal ganglion cell; RNFL: retinal nerve fiber layer.
Li S, Datta S, Brabbit E, Love Z, Woytowicz V, Flattery K, Capri J, Yao K, Wu S, Imboden M, Upadhyay A, Arumugham R, Thoreson WB, Deangelis MM, Haider NB. Nr2e3 is a genetic modifier that rescues retinal degeneration and promotes homeostasis in multiple models of retinitis pigmentosa. Gene Ther 2021;28(5):223-241.Abstract
Recent advances in viral vector engineering, as well as an increased understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanism of retinal diseases, have led to the development of novel gene therapy approaches. Furthermore, ease of accessibility and ocular immune privilege makes the retina an ideal target for gene therapies. In this study, the nuclear hormone receptor gene Nr2e3 was evaluated for efficacy as broad-spectrum therapy to attenuate early to intermediate stages of retinal degeneration in five unique mouse models of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). RP is a group of heterogenic inherited retinal diseases associated with over 150 gene mutations, affecting over 1.5 million individuals worldwide. RP varies in age of onset, severity, and rate of progression. In addition, ~40% of RP patients cannot be genetically diagnosed, confounding the ability to develop personalized RP therapies. Remarkably, Nr2e3 administered therapy resulted in reduced retinal degeneration as observed by increase in photoreceptor cells, improved electroretinogram, and a dramatic molecular reset of key transcription factors and associated gene networks. These therapeutic effects improved retinal homeostasis in diseased tissue. Results of this study provide evidence that Nr2e3 can serve as a broad-spectrum therapy to treat multiple forms of RP.
Lonfat N, Wang S, Lee C, Garcia M, Choi J, Park PJ, Cepko C. Cis-regulatory dissection of cone development reveals a broad role for Otx2 and Oc transcription factors. Development 2021;148(9)Abstract
The vertebrate retina is generated by retinal progenitor cells (RPCs), which produce >100 cell types. Although some RPCs produce many cell types, other RPCs produce restricted types of daughter cells, such as a cone photoreceptor and a horizontal cell (HC). We used genome-wide assays of chromatin structure to compare the profiles of a restricted cone/HC RPC and those of other RPCs in chicks. These data nominated regions of regulatory activity, which were tested in tissue, leading to the identification of many cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) active in cone/HC RPCs and developing cones. Two transcription factors, Otx2 and Oc1, were found to bind to many of these CRMs, including those near genes important for cone development and function, and their binding sites were required for activity. We also found that Otx2 has a predicted autoregulatory CRM. These results suggest that Otx2, Oc1 and possibly other Onecut proteins have a broad role in coordinating cone development and function. The many newly discovered CRMs for cones are potentially useful reagents for gene therapy of cone diseases.
Lonial S, Nooka AK, Thulasi P, Badros AZ, Jeng BH, Callander NS, Potter HA, Sborov D, Zaugg BE, Popat R, Esposti SD, Byrne J, Opalinska J, Baron J, Piontek T, Gupta I, Dana R, Farooq AV, Colby K, Jakubowiak A. Management of belantamab mafodotin-associated corneal events in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM). Blood Cancer J 2021;11(5):103.Abstract
Belantamab mafodotin (belamaf) demonstrated deep and durable responses in patients with heavily pretreated relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) in DREAMM-2 (NCT03525678). Corneal events, specifically keratopathy (including superficial punctate keratopathy and/or microcyst-like epithelial changes (MECs), eye examination findings with/without symptoms), were common, consistent with reports from other antibody-drug conjugates. Given the novel nature of corneal events in RRMM management, guidelines are required for their prompt identification and appropriate management. Eye examination findings from DREAMM-2 and insights from hematology/oncology investigators and ophthalmologists, including corneal specialists, were collated and used to develop corneal event management guidelines. The following recommendations were formulated: close collaboration among hematologist/oncologists and eye care professionals is needed, in part, to provide optimal care in relation to the belamaf benefit-risk profile. Patients receiving belamaf should undergo eye examinations before and during every treatment cycle and promptly upon worsening of symptoms. Severity of corneal events should be determined based on corneal examination findings and changes in best-corrected visual acuity. Treatment decisions, including dose modifications, should be based on the most severe finding present. These guidelines are recommended for the assessment and management of belamaf-associated ocular events to help mitigate ocular risk and enable patients to continue to experience a clinical benefit with belamaf.
Ludwig CA, Moon J, Garg I, Miller JB. Ultra-Widefield Imaging for Evaluation of the Myopic Eye. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):185-190.Abstract
Topic : Ultra-widefield (UWF) imaging of the myopic eye. Clinical Relevance : Myopes, and particularly high and pathologic myopes, present a unique challenge in fundoscopic imaging. Critical pathology is often located in the anteriormost portion of the retina, variations in posterior segment contour are difficult to capture in two-dimensional images, and extremes in axial length make simply focusing imaging devices difficult. Methods: We review the evolution of modalities for ophthalmic imaging (color fundus photography [CFP], optical coherence topography [OCT], angiography, artificial intelligence [AI]) to present day UWF technology and its impact on our understanding of myopia. Results: Advances in UWF technology address many of the challenges in fundoscopic imaging of myopes, providing new insights into the structure and function of the myopic eye. UWF CFP improves our ability to detect and document anterior peripheral pathology prevalent in approximately half of all high myopes. UWF OCT better captures the staphylomatous contour of the myopic eye, providing enhanced visualization of the vitreoretinal interface and progressive development of myopic traction maculopathy. UWF angiography highlights the posterior vortex veins, thin choriocapillaris, far peripheral avascularity, and peripheral retinal capillary microaneurysms more prevalent in the myopic eye. Researchers have demonstrated the ability of AI algorithms to predict refractive error, and great potential remains in the use of AI technology for the screening and prevention of myopic disease. Conclusion: We note significant progress in our ability to capture anterior pathology and improved image quality of the posterior segment of high and pathologic myopes. The next jump forward for UWF imaging will be the ability to capture a high quality ora to ora multimodal fundoscopic image in a single scan that will allow for sensitive AI-assisted screening of myopic disease.
Luo ZK, Domenech-Estarellas EA, Han A, Lee D, Khatri R, Wahl JL, Cutler C, Armand P, Antin JH, Koreth J, Gooptu M, Alyea EP, Soiffer RJ, Ho VT. Efficacy and Safety of 1% Progesterone Gel to the Forehead for Ocular Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease. Transplant Cell Ther 2021;27(5):433.e1-433.e8.Abstract
There is no Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments for ocular chronic graft-versus-host disease (oGVHD) to date, and current therapeutic options are limited. Forehead application of 1% progesterone gel provides corneal antinociception in preclinical models, suggesting it may be useful in alleviating ocular irritations. This study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of 1% progesterone gel in treating moderate to severe symptomatic oGVHD. Thirty-three patients with oGVHD following allogeneic stem cell transplantation were enrolled in this single-center, sponsor-initiated, prospective exploratory randomized double-masked placebo-controlled phase II clinical trial. The inclusion criteria included a National Institutes of Health consensus score of ≥2, moderate to severe ocular discomfort level, and receipt of a stable immunosuppression regimen. Twenty-one of the 22 patients in the progesterone arm and all 11 patients in the placebo arm completed the course of twice-daily forehead drug application for 10 weeks. The changes from baseline of self-reported ocular symptom scores and physician-recorded cornea fluorescein staining scores were analyzed using mixed-model repeated-measures regression model in an intention-to-treat population. The 33 patients included 12 women and 21 men, with a median age of 66 years (range, 24 to 75 years). At 10 weeks, there was a significant reduction in ocular symptoms from baseline in the progesterone group compared with the placebo group in symptom frequency (-30.7 versus -2.2; P < .001) and severity (-19.8 versus +1.6; P = .005). At 10 weeks, there was also greater reduction of cornea fluorescein staining centrally (-1.2 versus +.1; P = .001) and inferiorly (-1.4 versus -0.2; P = .005). No difference was noted in superior cornea staining. There were no severe adverse events in the progesterone group. Forehead application of 1% progesterone gel significantly improved ocular signs and symptoms within 10 weeks. It appears to be a safe and effective new therapy for oGVHD, and a novel mechanism for neuroaxis drug delivery. A multicenter phase III clinical trial is planned for further validation.