Previous winners of the ESCRS Clinical Research Awards include Dr. Rudy MMA Nuijts, MD PhD, University Hospital Maastricht, Netherlands (2012), Professor Mats Lundström, Karlskrona, Sweden (2013) and Dr Jan-Willem M. Beenakker and Prof. Dr. Oliver Findl (2016).
Dr Jan-Willem M. Beenakker
In 2016, Dr Jan-Willem M. Beenakker received the ESCRS Clinical Research Award for his investigator-led project entitled: “Virtual REfractive Surgery for the Prevention Of Negative Dysphotopsia”
The objective of the vRESPOND study is to uncover the underlying origin of negative dysphotopsia (ND). ND is a condition after cataract surgery which is manifested as a persistent dark shadow in the patients’ peripheral visual field. The vRESPOND study will develop the methodology to build personalized eye-models which can be used to study the exact path of the light through the eye. These analyses aim to link the optical characteristics of the eye with the complaints. Subsequently these evaluations will be used to develop and evaluate a Virtual Refractive Surgery application, based on the same personalized eye-models, for the prevention and treatment of ND.
The novel, patient-specific, eye-models provided by this study can be used for many different future applications in refractive surgery, enabling innovative clinical solutions for diseases which affect the quality of vision.
Prof. Joaquim Murta
In 2016, Prof. Joaquim Murta received the ESCRS Clinical Research Award for his investigator-led project entitled: “NEuroadaptation after Cataract and Refractive SUrgery Study - NECSUS”
The NECSUS study objective is to discover the association between patient reported subjective difficulties and functional magnetic resonance outcomes, independently of optical parameters and psychophysical performance. Dysphotopsia (glare, halos, and starbursts) remain an important cause of dissatisfaction after cataract surgery and a drawback to the more widespread use of multifocal lenses. Cortical processing of these unwanted effects remains unclear and it is necessary to bridge the gap between symptoms and their cortical processing. The NECSUS study will focus on the activity of cortical areas dedicated to attention, learning, cognitive control and to task goals in patients who recently had cataract surgery with multifocal intraocular lens implantation. Such information will provide valuable knowledge on the identification of therapeutic targets and of intraocular lens characteristics that are more likely to trigger neuroadaptation circuits effectively and, hence, lead to practical clinical use for better medical and surgical outcomes.
Prof. Dr. Oliver Findl
In 2016, Prof. Dr. Oliver Findl received the ESCRS Clinical Research Award for his investigator-led clinical trial entitled: “Influence of posterior vitreous detachment on retinal detachment after lens surgery in myopic eyes: MYOpic Pseudophakic REtinal Detachment – MYOPRED study”.
The aim of the MYOPRED study is to determine the influence of pre-operative and postoperatively developed posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) on the occurrence of retinal detachment (RD) in myopic patients.
Phacoemulsification with implantation of posterior chamber lenses represents the gold standard of care for patients needing lens surgery, but there is an increased risk of developing pseudophakic retinal detachment after surgery, especially in myopic eyes. In the recent literature, the association between the occurrence of PVD and RD after lens surgery is well documented but hitherto not described for myopic patients.
This multicentre cohort study will include 618 patients scheduled for lens surgery with an axial length of at least 25.0 mm. Patients will be allocated into two groups preoperatively, depending on whether an complete PVD is present or not.
The results of this study will contribute to a higher patient safety level, as cataract surgeons will be able to better inform future myopic patients pre-operatively about their individual risk profile for occurrence of RD after lens exchange surgery.
Prof. Mats Lundström
In 2013, Prof. Mats Lundström received the ESCRS Clinical Research Award for his investigator-led project entitled: “Including patient-reported outcome measures in the EUREQUO database”.
The EUREQUO project, familiar to many of our members, has been very successful in collecting data on cataract surgery outcomes and includes data on four different areas: visual outcome, refractive outcome, complications and patient-reported outcomes. The existing EUREQUO database includes the first three areas but does not yet contain data on patient-reported outcomes. An optimal strategy to measure patient-reported outcome is through the use of questionnaires developed and tested to the highest levels of validity.The aim of the 2013 Award project is to offer surgeons and scientists an opportunity to link patient-reported outcome measures to clinical outcome data. This will enable better knowledge of indications for surgery and offer a tool for clinical improvement work based on the patients’ outcome.
The proposed concept will add an extension to the EUREQUO project to collect the subjective surgery outcome data based on a patient survey for each set of objective surgery outcome data in the EUREQUO DB and will cover a diverse set of EU populations and languages.
Dr. Rudy MMA Nuijts
In 2012, Dr. Rudy MMA Nuijts received the ESCRS Clinical Research Award for his investigator-led clinical trial entitled: “PREvention of Macular EDema after cataract surgery: PREMED study”.
The objective of PREMED study is to evaluate the effect of different preventive strategies on the occurrence of macular edema after cataract surgery in non-diabetic and diabetic patients. Cystoid macular edema (CME) is a common cause of vision loss after cataract surgery. In the last few years, several new treatments have been attempted to address the problem of CME after cataract surgery however, no randomised controlled clinical trial has compared all the currently existing interventions and no study has been conducted to investigate whether combining treatments has an additional effect. The PREMED study comprises a large randomised clinical trial (RCT) with the aim of providing more definite evidence-based recommendations for clinical guidelines to prevent the occurrence of CME after cataract surgery in patients with and without diabetes.
The outcomes of this RCT will be of benefit to all ESCRS members and cataract surgeons.