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Results of the IVAN Follow-up trial have been published

Press release issued: 20 May 2020


The results of the IVAN Follow-up study have recently been published in the Ophthalmology journal. The IVAN Follow-up study was, as it’s name suggests, the follow-up study to the original IVAN trial which was published in The Lancet back in 2013. 

Participants in the IVAN Trial were randomised to receive one of two anti-VEGF treatments, Lucentis or Avastin, directly into their affected eye to treat ‘wet’ age-related macular degeneration (AMD), one of the biggest causes of sight loss in the UK. The IVAN Follow-up trial, managed by Dawn Phillips, collected data from the majority of the original IVAN participants from the time between their exit from the IVAN Trial up to 7 years later.

The results of the IVAN Follow-up trial showed:

  • Distance visual acuity (letters read on a letter chart) worsened by more than 4 letters per year;
  • Approximately one third of eyes with AMD treated with anti-VEGF treatments retained a level of vision that was sufficient for driving;
  • The anti-VEGF injection rate (i.e. how frequently patients had injections) did not influence the rate of change in distance visual acuity.

A major strength of IVAN Follow Up was the exceptional data completeness, much of which was extracted from medical records spanning up to 7 years. Research staff commented on the strong bonds they had formed with patients over the course of the original IVAN trial whilst many patients reported a strong desire to contribute to IVAN Follow Up. Undoubtedly, this sense of belonging that staff and patients developed during the IVAN trial led to excellent adherence during IVAN Follow Up. The results that they contributed to have important implications for clinicians with regards to patient counselling and treatment planning and for healthcare providers with regards to planning and resource allocation.

A brief history

The IVAN trial was the first multi-centre CTIMP led by what was formerly the CTEU Bristol (now the Bristol Trials Centre) and it had a huge impact on ophthalmology research in the NHS. Many new collaborations have been formed and countless papers have come out of this work and the work that stemmed from it. The IVAN Trial also put the CTEU in an excellent position to take on and manage many more ophthalmology studies since. The IVAN Follow-up study was funded by the NIHR HTA Programme (project number 07/36/501). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR HTA or the Department of Health and Social Care.

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