Next Generation Partnership SIG
July 31, 2022

Next Generation Partnership SIG

SIG Corner Editor: Hana Abouzeid

Chair: Gauti Johannesson Co-chairs: Esther Hoffmann, Anthony Khawaja, Francesco Oddone
The goal of this SIG is to identify, inspire and encourage potential Next Generation Partners who have interests in implementing the vision and missions of the EGS.

1) Update on NGP-SIG activities

The Next Generation Partnership (NGP) is a development and networking program within the EGS for younger specialists in ophthalmology or established glaucoma researchers that are emerging, future leaders in glaucoma care delivery, education and research who are interested and able to support the goals of the EGS.

One of the main activities of NGPs is the personal development and leadership programme held at the NGP days. The 3rd NGP day was held prior to the EGS Congress in Athens in June 2022 and its programme included lectures and a workshop on how to write successful grants.

The meeting was successful and attended by more than 30 NGPs. The participants were engaged in lively and fruitful discussions which hopefully will give rise to successful future grants amongst the attendees.
2) Last year’s choices of relevant papers to the NGPs

We would like to highlight the papers the NGP-SIG has selected for the EGS newsletter in 2021. These are the following papers:

Correlations Between Subjective Evaluation of Quality of Life, Visual Field Loss, and Performance in Simulated Activities of Daily Living in Glaucoma Patients (Azoulay-Sebban et al. J Glaucoma 2020) The authors of this study, led by NGP Antoine Labbé, have simulated two different activities of daily living performed by glaucoma patients or healthy subjects: a mobility task and a reaching and grasping task. The mobility task consisted of an indoor route with various obstacles (chairs, desks, or tables). Compared to healthy subjects, glaucoma patients experienced more mobility incidents such as bumps, stumbling, or stops. Also, the reaching and grasping task for small objects was impaired in glaucoma patients. Interestingly, mobility incidents and the reaching and grasping task parameters were not significantly correlated with patient-reported quality of life (QoL) scores. The QoL score related to vision was mostly correlated to the visual field mean deviation of the worse eye. These results may indicate that the impairment in QoL in glaucoma involves far more complex factors than altered visual function.

Improving the Power of Glaucoma Neuroprotection Trials Using Existing Visual Field Data (Montesano et al. Am J Ophthalmol 2021) In this study, Montesano et al. showed how patient selection based on visual field intertest variability is crucial to improve the power and reduce the sample size in a trial. The authors simulated different neuroprotective effects that reduced the observed progression rate. Using visual field data from 2804 patients, they showed that prioritizing enrolment of patients with a history of low intertest variability compared to randomly selected patients could reduce the sample size by 38% and 49%, giving a neuroprotective effect of 30% and 50%, respectively. The authors also propose that ordering patients by their visual field intertest variability could be easily implemented in an electronic medical record of a real clinic.

The Glaucoma Intensive Treatment Study: Interim results from an ongoing longitudinal randomized clinical trial (Bengtsson et al. Acta Ophthalmol 2022) In this randomized clinical trial, 242 treatment-naive patients with newly diagnosed open-angle glaucoma were randomized to initial treatment with either topical monotherapy or an intensive approach using drugs from three different classes, plus laser trabeculoplasty. The authors, including NGP Gauti Jóhannesson, showed that the findings at 3-year follow-up suggest that intensive initial IOP-lowering treatment results in a slower rate of perimetric progression than conventional escalating treatment with no large differences in the frequency of adverse events.

Virtual Reality-Based and Conventional Visual Field Examination Comparison in Healthy and Glaucoma Patients (Stapelfeldt et al. Transl Vis Sci Technol 2021) In this non-inferiority diagnostic study co-authored by NGP Rene Höhn, a custom virtual reality (VR) perimetry system that used the Oculus Quest VR headset (Facebook Technologies) was compared to standard automatic perimetry. The authors found a high correlation between the mean defect measured with the two devices and comparable performances. It is also speculated that VR perimetry may alleviate challenges in current perimetry practices by providing a portable and more accessible visual field test.
3) Apply to become an NGP If you are interested in learning more about the NGP and its activities, please visit this page. There you can have a look at the NGP manifesto and find information on how to apply to become an NGP member of EGS.

*The search for EGS goal of “Paving the Way to Better Glaucoma Care” continues together with Outcome and other EGS Committees as well as SIGs, i.e. how to promote the best possible well-being and minimal glaucoma-induced visual disability in individuals with glaucoma within affordable healthcare systems.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of the EGS.*

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