A differential outcome in randomized controlled trials of anti–vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapy, including ranibizumab, for diabetic macular edema is a major dilemma for planning, optimizing, and managing clinical usage. The variable outcome of the therapeutics necessitates the importance of finding a predictive biomarker for anti-VEGF therapy to improve subject selection.
Our study correlates the baseline pro- and anti-VEGF isoforms and its three receptors (VEGFReceptor1, VEGFReceptor2, and VEGFReceptor3) for circulatory candidate protein molecules among diabetic patients with macular edema, with the clinical outcome of ranibizumab therapy.
This study included 86 individuals who were anti-VEGF naive at the time of ascertainment but have completed the standardized therapy regimen of the clinic. Plasma proteins for pro- and anti-VEGF isoforms and its three receptors were determined in replicate by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
The study demonstrated that 56 (65.12%) individuals benefited from the therapy in terms of letter gain (Snellen chart). Baseline plasma soluble VEGF receptor 2 (sVEGFR-2) was significantly higher among responders (65.10 pg/mL; 95% confidence interval, 55.41 to 74.80 pg/mL) compared with nonresponders (46.38 pg/mL; 95% confidence interval, 38.69 to 54.07 pg/mL; PFDR = .03). Diffuse diabetic macular edema with proliferative diabetic retinopathy increases the risk of nonresponse to the therapy by 3.03-fold (PFDR = .04).
The present study postulates that diffuse diabetic macular edema with proliferative diabetic retinopathy and baseline circulatory soluble VEGF receptor 2 may be potential candidates as therapy-stratifying markers for ranibizumab treatment among patients with diabetic macular edema.