Avastin vs Lucentis

by Samuel

Is Avastin as effective as Lucentis?


Samuel, you are asking the same question that many other ophthalmologists and patients want to know the answer to.

The FDA approved Avastin in February 2004 for use in combination with another chemotherapy drug as a first-line treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer. When a drug is used for a condition that the FDA has not approved it for, it becomes what is called "off-label" use.

A study conducted by Dr. Philip J Rosenfeld, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, showed the eye treated with Avastin™ (bevacizumab) improved significantly.

Currently 47 U.S. eye institutions are involved in macular degeneration research comparing Lucentis and Avastin. The purposes of the study are to determine which drug and treatment schedule is better in treating wet macular degeneration.

The study is still recruiting participants. The estimated study completion date is February 2011.

When the study results are published I will be sure to post them on the website.

To learn more about Avastin, off-label use, and the comparison study click here:

Avastin Macular Degeneration

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

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Avastin verses Lucentis for Wet Macular Degeneration

by Don
(Cary, NC, Wake)

My Mom is 89 years old and has had wet macular degeneration for about 5 years.

During that time she had a couple PDT treatments with the remainder being Lucentis.

Recently her ophthalmologist suggested that she switch to Avastin.

I have been researching Avastin and have come to the conclusion that it is comparable to Lucentis, however I am concerned that the current CATT trials have yet to address the safety and long term issues.

Her current insurance will continue to cover Lucentis. So I am left pondering if it is worth the risk to switch to Avastin without knowing the safety and long term issues.

The only real negative response to Avastin I have found so far is the response from AMD Aliance International.

Are there any other report(s) which address the safety and long term issues?

Thanks in advance for your assistance :)


Hi Don,

I'm sorry it took so long to respond to your question, however there has been some recent concerns just about this issue - Avastin verses Lucentis for wet macular degeneration.

Here is a recent report (August 2011) from Medscape:

Eye Problems From Repackaged Bevacizumab

Kind Regards,

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

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Lucentis Injections verses Avastin Injections

by m. snell
(grand blanc, mi.)

I have macular degeneration as well as three of my four siblings, as well as my mom and three of my first cousins, whose moms were sisters of my mom.

My question is, one sister has wet macular degeneration and was diagnosed about three years ago. She has been getting monthly Lucentis injections which are very expensive.

Living in North Carolina, her doctor has recently offered the Avastin injection for her in place of the Lucentis.

The Lucentis costs about $6,000 per injection and the Avastin costs $50.00.

In Michigan my doctor uses Avastin.

My sister would spend her last dime, which she is doing, to get the Lucentis over the Avastin as Avastin is not approved by the F.D.A.

Why is Avastin not approved by the F.D.A.. and does it really matter and does it work as well as Lucentis? Such a huge difference in cost!


Thanks so much for asking this great question. Avastin and Lucentis are anti-VEGF medications.

Anti-VEGF drugs block the VEGF from stimulating the growth of new blood vessels which damages the rod and cone cells by leaking blood and fluid.

Those that benefit from this type of treatment are patients who have active leaking blood vessels.

Because of the huge cost difference a study was done comparing Avastin to Lucentis for the treatment of wet macular degeneration.

The National Institute of Health reported in April 2011:

"...results from the first year of a two-year clinical trial that Avastin, a drug approved to treat some cancers and that is commonly used off-label to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is as effective as the Food and Drug Administration-approved drug Lucentis for the treatment of AMD."

Click here for the full report:
NIH study finds Avastin and Lucentis are equally effective in treating age-related macular degeneration

Kind Regards,

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN


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