Researchers at Moorfields Eye Hospital will advise Chinese scientists on a leading glaucoma clinical trial to test whether laser treatment is the best option for patients with glaucoma.
The Moorfields team will share its experience of a similar trial which started in 2012, the Laser in Glaucoma and Ocular Hypertension (LiGHT) study, led by Moorfields consultant ophthalmologist Gus Gazzard.
Both the UK and the Chinese studies will examine if a technique called selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT), which aims to improve drainage through the trabecular meshwork and reduce intraocular pressure, offers a better outcome for glaucoma patients than eye drops alone.
Mr Gazzard explained: “We were approached last year by our Chinese collaborator, Professor Yu Minbin...because of our expertise in glaucoma trials and our team’s track record for successfully running large-scale trials.”
The ophthalmologist added: “Professor Yu Minbin, who is the co-investigator on the study, wanted the Moorfields team to help guide, coordinate, quality control and advise on the Chinese study which is a sister trial to ours. I am delighted to be collaborating on this project with the excellent team in China and look forward to a very productive study answering vital questions about glaucoma treatment that will affect millions of people in Asia.”
Mr Gazzard has been appointed co-principle investigator for the Chinese study, which will be held at the Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center at Sun Yat Sen University in Guangzhou. The trial aims to enrol 850 patients to receive either an initial SLT followed by standard therapy, or standard therapy without SLT.
The Moorfields team will visit China to share expertise and train local ophthalmologists at Zhongshan.
While the Moorfields study is expected to finish in 2017, it is hoped that due to the similarity of trials, the UK and Chinese groups will be able to pool their data for future comparisons.
Image credit: Moorfields Eye Hospital