STELLAR was a Belgian, multicentre, retrospective, observational chart review that described the utilization (number of injections and treatment regimen) and effectiveness of intravitreal aflibercept (IVT-AFL) in patients with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) treatment-naïve neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) during the first 12 months of IVT-AFL treatment.
Patients initiating IVT-AFL between July 2013 and July 2017 were included in STELLAR. Primary endpoints were number of visits and IVT-AFL injections, and number of patients who received ≥ 7 versus < 7 IVT-AFL injections during the first 12 months of treatment.
A total of 337 patients completed ≥ 12 months of IVT-AFL treatment. The mean number of visits and mean number of injections during the first 12 months was 9.8 and 7.1 injections, respectively (64% received ≥ 7 injections). Overall, 96% of patients received ≥ 3 initial monthly injections. Of the 337 patients, 180 received VT-AFL as needed (pro re nata), 141 received it as treat-and-extend dosing and 16 received it as fixed dosing. The proportion of patients who received treat-and-extend dosing increased year-on-year. Mean best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) (± standard deviation) was 61.6 (± 14.9) Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) letters at baseline and improved by + 3.9 and + 5.7 ETDRS letters at 3 and 12 months, respectively. Mean BCVA improvement was numerically greater in patients who received ≥ 7 versus < 7 injections during the first 12 months 7 (+ 6.5 vs. + 4.4 ETDRS letters) and in patients who received ≥ 3 versus < 3 initial monthly injections (+ 5.2 vs. - 0.25 ETDRS letters [3 at months]; + 5.9 vs + 1.2 ETDRS letters [at 12 months]). No specific adverse events were reported.
Most patients in this Belgian study received ≥ 7 IVT-AFL injections during a mean of 9.8 visits over the 12 months assessed. IVT-AFL was an effective treatment for nAMD in clinical practice, with numerically higher BCVA gains in patients receiving ≥ 7 versus < 7 injections over the first 12 months and ≥ 3 versus < 3 injections in the first 3 months.