Studio 512 Co-Host Stephanie Gilbert spoke with a panel of doctors at Retina Research Center. The panel included Dr. Berger, Dr. Makkouk, and Dr. Brent.
“Medical research studies are important as they can lead to the advancement of treatments. We are fortunate to have a center here in Austin focusing on the research and treatment of retinal diseases.”
The group discussed two gene therapies studies that they have for diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration, what gene therapy is, how it’s different from current treatments and more.
What is Retina Research Center and what do you do?
“We are a dedicated medical research center located in North Austin with decades of experience in clinical trials in human patients. We evaluate cutting-edge therapies, drugs and devices for retinal conditions such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusions and uveitis. Dr. Berger has been involved in the development of all currently FDA-approved treatments for retinal diseases.”
How do you know if you have a retinal condition that requires treatment and which retinal diseases do we treat?
“Common symptoms include blurry vision, missing spots in your vision, distortion, flashes & floaters and conditions that cannot be corrected with glasses.”
The panel spoke about macular degeneration and what it is, including the differences between wet vs. dry macular degeneration. For dry, there is no FDA-approved treatment. Patients are told to take eye vitamins (AREDS2). They also discussed diabetic retinopathy, vein occlusion and uveitis, as well as the current approach of FDA-approved treatments for these conditions. They chatted about what’s available versus what you’ll get in a trial.
“All patients with these conditions need routine eye exams and treatments in most scenarios. Retina Research Center is enrolling patients in clinical trials for all of these conditions currently as well as for MacTel (macular telangiectasia).”
Why enroll in a clinical trial?
“Cutting-edge treatments are at no cost to you. The advancement of research lends itself to a treatment option for conditions in which no FDA treatment is available. Retina Research Center offers additional care and attention during study visits such as ECG, blood work, frequent eye exams: bilateral for most protocols and performed non-protocol at certain visits if not part of the protocol. Fellow eye treatment is often provided by the sponsor, in which you’ll be seen by a board-certified M.D. for every visit. On top of that, you’ll receive regular communication with your other doctors, personalized concierge care car service, to and from appointments, a stipend for your time, lunch for long visits, snacks and wifi are available for all appointments, and a dedicated coordinator to see you at each one.”
This segment is paid for by Retina Research Center and is intended as an advertisement. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.