A study concluded in 2019 suggests that some patients with wet AMD can retain good visual acuity with no treatment for at least 3 years after stopping anti-VEGF treatment.
Researchers compared two groups from the 2008-2009 Comparison of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatments Trials (CATT). The first group was comprised of patients who had been released from the trial protocol and received no further treatment. The second group was defined as those who continued receiving treatment through the trial.
The visual acuities of the two groups 3 years after the initial 2 years of treatment, mean visual acuity score on the Snellen chart was 20/25 for 45% of the first group compared to a score of 20/80 for the second group. Further research may identify characteristics that might be associated with higher visual acuity in some people following cessation of treatment. So even though the reason for the difference has not yet been identified, the research offers some basis for hope that not all eyes with wet AMD may need treatment forever.
Characteristics of Eyes With Good Visual Acuity at 5 Years After Initiation of Treatment for Age-Related Macular Degeneration but Not Receiving Treatment From Years 3 to 5: Post Hoc Analysis of the CATT Randomized Clinical Trial. Drew Scoles, MD, PhD et al (JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online January 30, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2019.5831)
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00593450