Surgical Aspects in Gene Therapy for Inherited Retinal Diseases.
Fischer MD., Bartz-Schmidt KU., Dimopoulos S., Herrmann P., Gerhardt M., Holz FG., Priglinger S.
Inherited retinal dystrophies (IRD) have been studied since their recognition by Franz Donders and Albrecht von Graefe. It nevertheless took 100 years for a causal therapy to take shape in the form of gene therapy: The approval of Voretigen Neparvovec (VN) for the treatment of hereditary retinal dystrophies due to RPE65 mutations was thus a significant milestone - for the era of personalised medicine in general and ophthalmology in particular. The clinical management around gene therapy applications is complex and requires the cooperation of various experts as a multidisciplinary team. This article describes the requirements, challenges, approaches, and open questions regarding the surgical aspects of gene therapy for retinal dystrophies. The first part outlines the standard surgical treatment. Based on this standard, alternative approaches are indicated for each individual step and their value discussed. Knowledge gaps are defined and in the outlook we speculate on future developments.