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H. I. Becker, N. Kumar, R. D. Glickman; Effects of Bevacizumab (Avastin) on Human Lens Epithelial Cells. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):2427.
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The off-label use of Avastin has received considerable attention in both the professional and lay literatures for its impressive effects on neovascular eye disease. Avastin is FDA-approved for treatment of metastatic cancer and has not been formally tested in the eye. Current literature assessing intraocular toxicity has focused on retinal cells, but anterior segment cell-types would also be susceptible to any adverse drug effects. In this study, we sought to determine if Avastin affects cultured human lens epithelial cells.
Human-derived lens epithelial cells (ATCC CRL-11421) were exposed to Avastin at a concentration of 0.0156 mg/mL for 16 hours. This concentration was chosen to approximate the concentration of a commonly used 1.25 mg dose of Avastin in 0.05 mL after injection into a 4 ml vitreous cavity. A 0.05 mL dose of Avastin was diluted with 4 mL of warmed cell media and 200 Î¼L of the solution was placed in 16 wells of a 96-well plastic culture plate containing the cells. Control cells were exposed to an equal volume of untreated media. The cells were then incubated overnight. Cell viability was assessed using the MTT cell viability assay. After 60 minutes incubation time, absorbance values at 570 nm were measured and compared.
The absorbance of the Avastin-treated group absorbed at 0.157 O.D., while that of the control group was 0.145 O.D. This difference was found to be statistically significant, with a p value <0.001 on an unpaired t-test.
No significant toxicity was found. Rather, we found that cells exposed to Avastin had somewhat better viability outcomes, which may reflect other cellular effects of Avastin, such as stimulation of growth rate. Additional assays at varying concentrations and exposure times are planned to identify if other effects of Avastin on these cells exist. The present results, however, indicate that Avastin does not have negative effects on human lens epithelial cell viability, at least in the short term.
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