Purpose To determine whether the efficacy and safety achieved with monthly ranibizumab as treatment for diabetic macular edema (DME) can be maintained with less-than-monthly treatment. Design Open-label extension (OLE) phase of randomized, sham-controlled phase III trials: RIDE (NCT00473382) and RISE (NCT00473330). Participants Five hundred of 582 adults who completed the 36-month randomized core studies elected to enter the OLE. Methods All patients participating in the OLE were eligible to receive 0.5 mg ranibizumab according to predefined re-treatment criteria: Treatment was administered when DME was identified by the investigator on optical coherence tomography or when best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) worsened by ≥5 Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study letters versus month 36. Patients were observed at 30-, 60-, or 90-day intervals depending on the need for treatment. Main Outcome Measures The incidence and severity of ocular and nonocular events, proportion of patients with ≥15-letter best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) gain from baseline, mean BCVA change from month 36 (final core study visit), mean central foveal thickness (CFT), and mean CFT change from month 36. Results A mean of 4.5 injections were administered over a mean follow-up of 14.1 months. Approximately 25% of patients did not require further treatment based on protocol-defined re-treatment criteria. Mean BCVA was sustained or improved in these patients through the end of follow-up. Approximately 75% of patients received ≥1 criteria-based re-treatment; mean time to first re-treatment was approximately 3 months after the last masked-phase visit. Mean BCVA remained stable in re-treated patients; CFT was generally stable with a trend toward slight thickening in all patients when mandatory monthly therapy was relaxed. Conclusions Vision gains achieved after 1 or 3 years of monthly ranibizumab therapy were maintained with a marked reduction in treatment frequency; some patients required no additional treatment. These observations are consistent with other studies evaluating induction followed by maintenance ranibizumab therapy for DME. Patients whose treatment was deferred by 2 years (randomized initially to sham) did not ultimately achieve the same BCVA gains as patients who received ranibizumab from baseline. Ranibizumab's safety profile in the OLE appeared similar to that observed in the controlled core studies and other studies.
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