Nerve growth factor improves visual loss in childhood optic gliomas: a randomized, double-blind, phase II clinical trial.

Antonio Chiaretti, Antonio Ruggiero, Ilaria Lazzareschi, Benedetto Falsini, Daniela Rizzo, Marco Piccardi, Anna Dickmann Rossi, Matteo Federici, Annabella Salerni, Gaspare Guglielmi, Massimo Caldarelli, Cesare Colosimo, Riccardo Riccardi, Luigi Manni, Marzia Soligo, Laura Timelli, Lucia Galli-Resta

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review

34 Citazioni (Scopus)


Paediatric optic pathway gliomas are low-grade brain tumours characterized by slow progression and invalidating visual loss. Presently there is no strategy to prevent visual loss in this kind of tumour. This study evaluated the effects of nerve growth factor administration in protecting visual function in patients with optic pathway glioma-related visual impairment. A prospective randomized double-blind phase II clinical trial was conducted in 18 optic pathway glioma patients, aged from 2 to 23 years, with stable disease and severe visual loss. Ten patients were randomly assigned to receive a single 10-day course of 0.5 mg murine nerve growth factor as eye drops, while eight patients received placebo. All patients were evaluated before and after treatment, testing visual acuity, visual field, visual-evoked potentials, optic coherence tomography, electroretinographic photopic negative response, and magnetic resonance imaging. Post-treatment evaluations were repeated at 15, 30, 90, and 180 days Brain magnetic resonance imaging was performed at baseline and at 180 days. Treatment with nerve growth factor led to statistically significant improvements in objective electrophysiological parameters (electroretinographic photopic negative response amplitude at 180 days and visual-evoked potentials at 30 days), which were not observed in placebo-treated patients. Furthermore, in patients in whom visual fields could still be measured, visual field worsening was only observed in placebo-treated cases, while three of four nerve growth factor-treated subjects showed significant visual field enlargement. This corresponded to improved visually guided behaviour, as reported by the patients and/or the caregivers. There was no evidence of side effects related to nerve growth factor treatment. Nerve growth factor eye drop administration appears a safe, easy and effective strategy for the treatment of visual loss associated with optic pathway gliomas.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)404-414
Numero di pagine11
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2016


  • Nerve growth Factor
  • Optic Glioma


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