People in Bucks who have and eye condition which causes vision loss have been invited to take part in a new NHS trial in a bid to tackle the condition.

The health service is launching a trial to see if one-off radiotherapy can replace eye injections for people with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The research is being run by King’s College London, and 411 patients will take part in the scheme from 25 hospitals throughout the UK – with Bucks NHS Trust set to recruit 30 patients.

Bucks patients visiting AMD clinics at Amersham Hospital are being asked if they would like to take part and undergo screening tests at Stoke Mandeville and Aylesbury to see if they are eligible.

Two-thirds of patients taking part in the trial will receive stereotactic radiotherapy (STAR) – which will see three beams of radiation aimed into the macular, which is responsible for central vision.

A third of patients will unknowingly receive a “sham” treatment in which the machine dies not use radiation in order to compare the two.

They will then have monthly follow-up visits for two years at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and if patients are still showing symptoms of wet AMD, they will be treated with injections.

Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels form underneath the macular and damage the cells which can cause rapid sight loss – however it can be gradual.

Mr Mandeep Singh Bindra, consultant ophthalmologist and the study’s principal investigator at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said:

“Current treatment for wet macular degeneration places a huge burden on patients, their relatives as well as on hospital eye departments and their staff.

“This involves injections into the eye which need to be carried out every few weeks, often for many years.

“This is a challenge both for the NHS and for patients and relatives who need to bring these usually elderly patients to their appointments.

“Stereotactic radiotherapy may reduce the number of injections that patients require and help maintain better vision than injections alone.”

For more information on the study visit or call 01494 734958.