Blind World Magazine

Macular Degeneration.
Avastin: New hope for macular degeneration patients.

February 20, 2006., Texas.

Macular degeneration blinds more than a million people in the U.S. each year.

Now, a cancer drug is giving some of those patients their vision back.

Rosemary Kohler's life started out like a fairy tale - she was born inside an Italian castle.

A few years ago, this princess didn't think her story would have a happy ending.

"I felt as if I'd lost at least 50 percent of my eyesight in about a month," said Kohler.

She was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration -- or wet AMD. It's a condition where blood vessels in the eye grow and leak, resulting in severe vision loss.

But a cancer drug called Avastin has given Kohler much of her vision back.

"Never before were we able to tell our patients that you could actually see better after therapy," said Dr. Philip Rosenfeld, an ophthalmologist.

Dr. Philip Rosenfeld says in a small study, patients saw vision improvements one week after the injection.

"I've had patients go from being legally blind, 20/200 or worse to being able to see 20/20 after receiving the drug," he added.

Rosemary Kohler is seeing about 20/40.

"I really feel that it saves my life."

She's back to painting and hopes to live happily ever after.

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