James Chodosh, MD, and colleagues evaluated 29 patients who were treated within a 10-year period for ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN), a type of cancer, either by surgical removal of the tumor or with topical interferon (alfa-2b).
There were no statistically significant differences in age, gender-affected eye and tumor size between patients in the two groups. Risk factors for this form of cancer include advanced age, light skin, extensive UV-light exposure, smoking, and exposure on the job to petroleum products. HPV (human papilloma virus) and HIV have also been associated with higher rates of OSSN.
Fourteen of the study patients opted for surgical excision; in all cases an aggressive removal of the tumor, with wide and deep margins around the tumor site, was followed by cryotherapy. The aggressive approach was used because more conservative excisions had been associated with high OSSN recurrence rates in other patients.
This is the first report on results of this aggressive approach. Eight study patients received simultaneous reconstruction of the ocular surface using amniotic membrane. Fifteen study patients were treated with interferon; two of these did not respond to treatment and were treated surgically. All patients in both treatment groups eventually experienced complete resolution of their OSSN without recurrence, and with no significant side effects of treatment in either group. Dr. Chodosh says these results suggest that "topical interferon alfa-2 b and aggressive surgical excision can both be considered effective treatments for OSSN."
This research was published in the August issue of Ophthalmology.
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