Predicting disease trajectory and response to treatment in primary open-angle glaucoma

Study code

Lead researcher
Anthony Khawaja

Study type
Data only

Institution or company
Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Researcher type

Speciality area
Ophthalmology, Genomics and Rare Diseases


Glaucoma is the commonest cause of incurable blindness globally, affecting over 80 million people. The incurable nature of glaucoma means it requires lifelong treatment and this poses a huge burden on healthcare services. Even with current best treatment, many patients continue to lose vision. Compounding this, the number of people affected by glaucoma will increase by 50% in the next 20 years. Already stretched glaucoma services are therefore compelled to innovate to minimise blindness. This project aims to develop easily adoptable tools based on genetic prediction algorithms, that will enable more effective glaucoma care. We will build on our recent landmark, translating the discoveries of the fundamental genetic causes of glaucoma into tools that can be deployed to manage glaucoma. To achieve this, we will bring together multiple studies that have both patient treatment data to create a unique, world-leading resource for developing genetic algorithms. A substantial component of this will be linking genetic data for glaucoma patients recruited to the NIHR BioResource to their glaucoma treatment data at Moorfields Eye Hospital. We will use the resource to further develop genetic algorithms that can predict a patient's risk of disease worsening and blindness, as well as the response to different treatments for each individual. If successful, the prediction tools will enable paradigm-shifting innovation in glaucoma management. Personalised glaucoma decision support will reduce the risk of blindness in high-risk patients while reducing treatment-associated harm and costs in low-risk patients.