Objectives: This report aims to provide clear recommendations and practical guidance from a panel of UK retinal experts on an aflibercept treat-and-extend (T&E) pathway that can be implemented in clinical practice. These recommendations may help service providers across the NHS intending to implement a T&E approach, with the aim of effectively addressing the capacity and resource issues putting strain on UK neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) services while promoting patients’ best interests throughout.
Methods: Two structured roundtable meetings of retinal specialists were held in London, UK on 7 December 2018 and 1 March 2019. These meetings were organised and funded by Bayer.
Results: The panel provided recommendations for an aflibercept T&E pathway and developed specific criteria based on visual acuity, retinal morphology and optical coherence tomography imaging to guide reduction, maintenance and extension of injection intervals. They also discussed the extension of treatment intervals by 2- or 4-week adjustments to a maximum treatment interval of 16 weeks, the management of retinal fluid and the stopping of treatment.
Conclusions: The long-term benefits of implementing a T&E pathway may include superior visual outcomes compared with a pro re nata (PRN; as needed) protocol, and a lower treatment burden compared with a fixed protocol, which is likely to improve service capacity. Furthermore, the predictable nature of a T&E approach compared with a PRN service may aid capacity planning for the future nAMD treatment demand.
- retinal diseases