Topical chemotherapy for giant ocular surface squamous neoplasia of the conjunctiva and cornea: Is surgery necessary?

Sonal S. Chaugule, Jennifer Park, Paul T. Finger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to report on the efficacy and safety of topical chemotherapy alone for giant ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN). Methods: In this retrospective, interventional series, 10 eyes with giant OSSN underwent exfoliative biopsy to confirm the diagnosis followed by application of interferon alpha 2b (IFN α2b) and/or 5 fluorouracil, 1% (5FU). Reported outcome measures were tumor response, visual acuity, recurrence, systemic metastasis, and treatment complications. Results: Ten patients (3 female, 7 male) had a mean age of 73 (median, 69; range 40-89) years. Mean tumor diameter was 13.1 (median, 12.3; range 8.2-19.4) mm. Five (50%) eyes were treated with IFN-α2b alone; 1 (10%) with 5-FU alone and 4 (40%) required both IFN-α2b and 5-FU. The mean duration of treatment was 3, 0.5, and 6.4 months for IFN-α2b alone, 5-FU alone, and both IFN-α2b and 5-FU respectively. Complete tumor response was observed in all 10 cases at mean follow-up of 12.8 (median, 11.5; range, 3-25) months. Complications noted were transient irritation and burning (n = 4), dry eyes (n = 2), and transient flu-like symptoms (n = 2). There was no evidence of chemotherapy-related symblepharon, stem cell deficiency, scleral thinning, or corneal opacity. There were no tumor recurrences, and no patient required surgical excision or cryotherapy. Conclusion: Topical chemotherapy was a safe and effective treatment, inducing complete regression in all cases of giant OSSN in this series. There were no sight-limiting complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • 5-fluorouracil
  • Topical chemotherapy
  • giant ocular surface squamous neoplasia
  • interferon alpha 2b


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