by Savitha C Muppala on  February 17, 2011 at 7:55 PM Child Health News
 Blindness in Premature Babies can be Prevented With Drug Avastin
Premature babies who are born before their eyes develop fully carry a risk of blindness.

A recent study has outlined that the cancer drug Avastin can protect against blindness in premature babies.

This condition called "retinopathy of maturity" affects nearly 50,000 people, causing blindness.

According to the study, a single injection of Avastin into the eyes of premature babies can help prevent blindness.

During the study, 150 premature infants were randomly assigned treatment with Avastin injections or with lasers. All the infants in the study had suffered retina damage near the optic nerve. The study results pointed out that among 75 infants who were given Avastin , only 6% infants had recurrence as against 42% infants who received the laser treatment.

Avastin, manufactured by Roche and generically known as bevacizumab, is used for the treatment of several cancers.

Further study is needed to ascertain risks related to the use of these injections on premature babies.

Source: Medindia

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