Lumenis, a global medical laser company, has partnered with Moorfields Eye Hospital in the UK to establish its selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) technology as new gold standard for open-angle glaucoma care.
The partnership also marks the firm's support for the hospital to run a seminal glaucoma study (LIGHT) using SLT therapy, which will compare the quality of life after glaucoma laser treatment against eye drop therapy.
SLT, which was introduced by Lumenis in 2001 into the medical market, is a non-invasive, in-office procedure that uses an advanced non-thermal energy beam to target pigmented trabecular meshwork cells and in the process improves trabecular outflow and minimises internal eye pressure after treatment.
The company claims that the safety and efficacy of the therapy in reducing the intraocular pressure in patients with open-angle glaucoma is clinically proven, is associated with minimal risk of adverse events and is repeatable and cost-effective.
Lumenis Ophthalmology Strategic Business Unit vice president and general manager Kfir Azoulay said the company is proud to support the world-renowned Moorfields Hospital on this major clinical investigation.
"SLT offers open-angle glaucoma patients the benefit of a clinically proven non-invasive treatment that can halt the progression of the disease and maintain vision," Azoulay said.
"Furthermore, SLT also simultaneously eliminates or significantly reduces dependency on daily intake of costly medications, which also produce detrimental side effects."
Under the three-year multi-center, prospective, comparative study, the hospital will enroll over 700 patients recently diagnosed with glaucoma and who are yet to be treated.
The hospital will give patients either SLT therapy with subsequent eye drop therapy, or drops alone, and make a quality of life assessment at the end of every year, as per the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) questionnaire.
Lumenis claims that if every glaucoma patient is given SLT therapy, it would save £2.4m annually, with potential of saving £80m, for the UK National Health Service.
Moorfields consultant ophthalmologistand study leader Gus Gazzard said; "The traditional treatment with drops can be unpleasant and is often disliked by patients, so I wanted to find out whether laser treatment is as good as it appears - but more importantly to see if patients preferred it."