Subscribe to Newsletter
Subspecialties Basic & Translational Research, Retina

Early Promise

Scientists from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) in Oklahoma City, have been studying the development of blood vessels, including one set that regresses and disappears in murine eyes after birth. The researchers discovered that down-regulation of a specific class of proteins called ETS transcription factors was responsible for this natural blood vessel loss in the eye. A compound called YK-4- 279 acts as an inhibitor of these ETS transcription factors and appeared to be particularly effective in low-flow vessels. The researchers decided to test the effectiveness of YK-4-279 in an oxygen-induced retinopathy mouse model that mimics human disease (including diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity) and found: i) YK-4-279 reduced the abnormal neovascular tufts associated with the model and ii) the compound did not appear to affect healthy retinal vessels. Together, these discoveries point to the therapeutic potential of ETS transcription factor inhibitors (1).

Meanwhile, researchers at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Care Center in Chapel Hill, implanted mice with retinoblastoma tissue to test a new treatment using CAR-T cells (ganglioside GD2-specific lymphocytes – GD2.CAR-Ts) injected into the retina. The result: delayed tumor development. They then combined the CAR-T cells with an immune-boosting interleukin (IL)-15 protein in a water-based gel, which was injected into the retinas of the mice, and found that the majority of treated mice remained tumor-free for up to 70 days. The therapy is currently being used in clinical trials for pediatric neuroblastoma, and the researchers are hoping to see further trials looking at the therapy’s efficacy in retinoblastoma (2).

Receive content, products, events as well as relevant industry updates from The Ophthalmologist and its sponsors.

When you click “Subscribe” we will email you a link, which you must click to verify the email address above and activate your subscription. If you do not receive this email, please contact us at [email protected].
If you wish to unsubscribe, you can update your preferences at any point.

  1. CM Schafer et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, [Online ahead of print] (2020). PMID: 33020273.
  2. K Wang et al., Nature Cancer, 1, 990 (2020).
About the Author
Aleksandra Jones

Editor of The Ophthalmologist

Having edited several technical publications over the last decade, I crossed paths with quite a few of Texere's current team members, and I only ever heard them sing the company's praises. When an opportunity arose to join Texere, I jumped at the chance! With a background in literature, I love the company's ethos of producing genuinely engaging content, and the fact that it is so well received by our readers makes it even more rewarding.

Product Profiles

Access our product directory to see the latest products and services from our industry partners

Register to The Ophthalmologist

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:
  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Ophthalmologist magazine



The Ophthalmologist website is intended solely for the eyes of healthcare professionals. Please confirm below: