RCOphth would like to congratulate Professor Gus Gazzard at Moorfields Eye Hospital Foundation Trust for winning the Nettleship Medal for the best-published paper titled: “Selective laser trabeculoplasty versus eye drops for first-line treatment of ocular hypertension and glaucoma (LiGHT): a multicentre randomised controlled trial”
Speaking on winning the prize Professor Gus Gazzard said ‘This is a huge honour for me to receive such a prestigious award on behalf of the team, after a decade of work in this area, and with more to come. I wish to thank The Royal College of Ophthalmologists for awarding our group this prize and our funders: the National Institute of Health Research, Moorfields Eye Charity, Glaucoma UK and Fight for Sight for supporting the work over the last 10 years. But most importantly I should like to thank those patients who were willing to accept randomisation and entered the trial.’
The LiGHT trial compared laser pressure-lowering treatment (SLT) with the traditional drops-based approach, in 718 patients across 6 UK sites followed for 6 years. We showed that laser can give medication-free control for the majority of patients for at least 6 years. Not only this, but we showed that pressure-lowering was at least as good as with a prostaglandin analogue, that laser could be effective when repeated and importantly that the SLT-1st group had better visual field preservation in those most at risk of vision loss – all with greater cost-effectiveness than the traditional approach. This study has redefined the standard of care across the world with the American Academy of Ophthalmology Preferred Practice Pattern, the European Glaucoma Society and now the UK NICE Guidance all recommending that SLT be offered as primary treatment (and the majority of US glaucoma surgeons now doing so). Further work now in progress will look at refining the way deliver the laser to further improve on this work.’
The Medal will be presented at the RCOphth Annual Congress in May 2022 in Glasgow along with a short presentation of the RCT from Professor Gazzard.