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Schepens Eye Research Institute scientists at ARVO

Note embargo date for each presentation

Boston, MA--More than 25 scientists from Schepens Eye Research Institute will present their research at the Annual Meeting of ARVO, the American Association for Research in Vision and Opthalmology in Fort Lauderdale from May 5 to May 8. Here are two hightlights from those presentations.

New Drug Traps Growth Factor that Causes Abnormal Blood and Lymphatic Vessels in Corneas *
Embargoed Until Wednesday, May 7, 11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Dr. Claus Cursiefen and Dr. J. Wayne Streilein will present the results of a study in which they found that a drug, known as the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Trap, could block the abnormal growth of corneal blood and lymphatic vessels that accompany certain types of corneal diseases (in this case, inflammatory corneal diseases such as herpetic keratitis). Their study also demonstrated that this new drug might ultimately prevent the rapid rejection of transplanted corneal tissue in the eyes of individuals with these diseases.

The normal cornea, which is the window of the eye, is free of both blood and lymphatic vessels to achieve maximal clarity for light entering the eye and, therefore, good vision. When these vessels do grow in the cornea in diseases such as herpetic keratitis, the only option has been to transplant a clear new donor cornea into the center of the patient's cornea. Unfortunately, preexisting blood vessels within the patient's remaining cornea make such a corneal transplantation a high-risk operation, often causing rejection despite conventional drug treatment.

Using a mouse model previously developed at Schepens Eye Research Institute, the researchers found not only the easily detectable blood vessels, but also lymphatic vessels, which had been previously difficult to detect. They also found for the first time that lymphatic vessels enter the cornea astonishingly quickly and in parallel with t
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Contact: Patti Jacobs
pattijacobs@homai.com
617-912-2544
Schepens Eye Research Institute
8-May-2003


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