Progress occurring on several fronts is creating optimism that retinal ganglion cell (RGC) replacement may become a reality for preserving or restoring vision in patients with glaucoma, according to Jeffrey L. Goldberg, MD, PhD.
"All available medical and surgical treatments for glaucoma target IOP, but while IOP is a risk factor for glaucoma, the underlying disease is an optic neuropathy characterized by loss of RGCs," said Dr. Goldberg, professor and chairman, Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA.
"The real hope for advancing glaucoma care in the future is to discover therapies that target the RGCs to stave off or even restore the vision loss that can be so profound with this disease," Dr. Goldberg said. "We have encouraging evidence supporting the potential for RGC therapies, but there are many questions yet to be answered and much work needs to be done."
Important advances are occurring both in basic research and in clinical trials.
Among the developments taking place in the laboratory, there has been progress delineating molecular pathways for generating RGC-like cells from human stem cells.
Jeffrey L. Goldberg, MD, PhD
E: [email protected]
This article was adapted from Dr. Goldberg's presentation during Glaucoma Subspecialty Day at the 2017 meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Dr. Goldberg has no financial interests in the products discussed.