In the United States, summer is now officially over and autumn—or fall, depending on your preference—is settling in. Before it symbolized football season, Halloween, and pumpkin-spiced goodies, autumn was the time of the primary harvest. In fact, harvest originates from an Old English word meaning autumn, but has since come to refer to the season for gathering crops together and delivering them to markets.
This issue of Retina Today is an apt reflection of the harvest season, as the editors have gathered together articles on innovations in retina for our cover focus. Some of these articles reflect the common theme of novel modes of delivery—whether drug delivery through new routes, platforms, or modalities, or laser therapy delivery in a minimally invasive manner.
Gene therapy and genetic testing are undeniably hot topics and areas of innovation in health care. On page 69 Carly Seidman, MD, and Szilárd Kiss, MD, review the history, principles, and limitations of ocular gene therapy as well as the latest developments.
In caring for patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retina specialists are on a mission to minimize the number of injections of anti-VEGF agents patients receive while maintaining optimal visual benefits. On page 72, I (Allen C. Ho, MD) examine whether a drug-delivery platform that may be capable of producing a wide range of therapeutic proteins at constant levels for multiple years could become a new standard of care for AMD.
The administration of corticosteroids via the suprachoroidal space may allow lower doses or less frequent dosing than current local treatments for retinal diseases. According to authors Shree K. Kurup, MD; Claudia G. Hooten, MD; and Sara V. Branson, BS, therapies that involve the suprachoroidal space may take a noticeable place in the armamentarium of retina specialists in the future (see page 76).
In his article “The Journey to Functionally Guided Retinal Protective Therapy for Chronic Progressive Retinopathies,” Jeffrey K. Luttrull, MD, explores the use of subthreshold diode micropulse laser treatment in patients with dry AMD and inherited degenerations. Read why he says it is ideal for preventive treatment on page 81.
These are only some of the articles on innovations in retina included in this issue, so be sure to explore the rest of these pages as well. As always, we will continue to keep you up to date on the latest topics in the months to come.
The next issue of Retina Today will arrive in mailboxes in early December. In the interim, autumn is a perfect time to harvest some new ideas, so grab a pumpkin latte and let your mind ponder some potential opportunities for tackling the treatment of retinal diseases and improving patient care and clinical outcomes. Share those ideas—with us, your colleagues, whomever. In the words of business leader Margaret Heffernan, “For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate.” n
Allen C. Ho, MD, Chief Medical Editor
Robert L. Avery, MD, Associate Medical Editor