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    Exploring anti-VEGF therapy for orbital vascular lesions

    Immunohistochemistry staining findings lay groundwork for novel strategy

    Take-home message: Findings from immunohistochemical analysis of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor expression on pathology specimens of orbital vascular tumors suggest a potential therapeutic role for anti-VEGF agents.

    Reviewed by Elizabeth A. Atchison, MD

    Rochester, MN—Most benign vascular lesions of the orbit express vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (VEGFRs). This finding suggests that anti-VEGF therapy may offer effective non-surgical intervention, according to investigators from Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

    “Orbital vascular lesions are not malignant, but they can cause significant morbidity secondary to mass effect on critical functional anatomy,” said Elizabeth A. Atchison, MD.

    Recent: Lower treatment burden with earlier administration of anti-VEGF therapy for DME

    Currently, removal by excisional surgery is the most common treatment for orbital vascular lesions that are causing problems. However, surgery can be difficult because these lesions may lie near critical orbital structures, she noted, and surgery can have its own morbidity, causing bleeding and damage to local structures.

    “Our study showing that these vascular lesions express VEGF receptors lays a foundation for investigating anti-VEGF therapy as a medical treatment alternative to surgical removal of orbital vascular lesions,” she added.

    Related: Using endoscopy in treatment of pediatric nasolacrimal duct obstruction

    Dr. Atchison participated in the study as an ophthalmology resident at the Mayo Clinic. She is currently a surgical retina fellow, Rush University and Illinois Retina Associates, Chicago.

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