JAN 04, 2011
Interferon α has been used successfully to treat ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN), although most of the published data is on its use as eye drops. A drawback to treatment with drops, however, is that the time to tumor resolution can be prolonged due to noncompliance. Subconjunctival and perilesional injections of IFNα2b have the advantage not only of ensured compliance but also of possibly better penetration to the tumor. Possible systemic side effects include fever, chills and malaise. The goal of this study was to analyze the effectiveness of perilesional subconjunctival IFNα2b injections retrospectively in patients with OSSN. To the authors' knowledge, this is the largest study and with the longest follow-up to date using recombinant subconjunctival interferon for OSSN.
Researchers examined the records of 14 patients (15 eyes) with primary or recurrent ocular surface squamous neoplasia treated with perilesional, subconjunctival injections of recombinant IFNα2b until the tumor appeared to resolve, which ranged from 0.6 to 5.7 months (median 1.4 months). They were followed for a median of 55 months. One of the 15 eyes experienced recurrence, which occurred four months after clinical resolution. Systemic side effects were seen in five patients.
The authors conclude that although this study demonstrated that perilesional, subconjunctival interferon was effective in the treatment of OSSN, future studies are needed to determine the ideal dosing and injection frequency and the need for topical medication.