The Diabetes Retinopathy Clinical Research Network (DRCR.net) supports the identification, design, and implementation of multicenter clinical research initiatives focused on diabetes-induced retinal disorders. The network primarily focuses on clinical trials with the additional support of epidemiologic outcomes and other supportive studies.
Who is DRCR?
DRCR was founded in September 2002 through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. National Institutes of Health to pool clinical research data from disparate retinal specialty practices to determine clinically meaningful and statistically significant treatment options for both DR and DME in the most expeditious fashion. Publicly funded, the organization receives its capital from the National Eye Institute (NEI) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
DRCR currently includes more than 115 participating clinical investigator sites with over 400 physicians throughout the U.S. They have initiated more than 25 clinical studies, enrolled over 9,000 study participants and has been responsible for some of the most important, care-changing clinical trials related to diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic macular edema (DME) performed over the past 15 years reports Optometry Times.
The most important clinical trials conducted by DRCR.net include Protocols S, T and I. These have significantly changed the way proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) and DME—the leading cause of severe vision loss in diabetes patients—are managed.
Protocol S revealed that intravitreal injection of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor, ranibizumab (Lucentis, Genentech) is non-inferior to panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) for prevention of severe vision loss and regression of neovascularization in patients with PDR noted Optometry Times.
Optometry Times reports that subjects receiving anti-VEGF therapy maintained the significantly better visual field and night-vision that those receiving PRP. Patients receiving injections were also less likely to develop severe, center-involved DME (CI-DME) and more likely to experience resolution of any pre-existing DME.
TrialSite News includes a link to some of the organizations’ presentations.