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Cancer drug hope for eye diseases.

DRUGS USED to treat leukaemia could offer a new target for treating the abnormal blood vessels which form in many blinding conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

Researchers from University College London (UCL) found that imatinib, a drug used to treat leukaemia, inhibited angiogenesis--the growth of abnormal blood vessels.

Professor Christina Ruhrberg, of the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, who led the research, told Medical Xpress: "We discovered an alternative mechanism that regulates blood vessel growth and does not depend on VEGF."

Patients take imatinib orally, offering hope that an anti-angiogenic treatment could be delivered systemically through tablets rather than by anti-VEGF eye injections.

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Publication:Optometry Today
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 6, 2014
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