Treating diabetic macular edema (DME) has evolved from the ETDRS-style focal/grid laser being the standard of care since 1985 to the modern era of pharmacotherapy—with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) injections now taking center stage as primary treatment for most patients.
The safety and feasibility of intravitreal autologous CD34+ bone marrow cells as a potential therapy for retinal disease were evaluated in a pilot study. Preliminary findings demonstrated the treatment was feasible and researchers intend to pursue a larger, prospective study with longer follow-up.
No doubt, my retina colleagues are way ahead of me in considering this issue. Reducing the frequency of injections by developing longer-lasting therapeutic agents and reducing the per-injection risk by careful scrutiny of evidence to determine the best practice when it comes to injection protocols are two possibilities.