Treatment of Conjunctival and Corneal Epithelial Neoplasia with Retinoic Acid and Topical Interferon Alfa-2b: Long-term Follow-up

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
Ophthalmology (Impact Factor: 6.14). 06/2012; 119(10):1969-73. DOI: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2012.03.045
Source: PubMed


To evaluate the long-term recurrence rate of conjunctival and corneal intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) treated with retinoic acid and topical interferon alfa-2b.
Retrospective, noncomparative, interventional case series.
A total of 89 eyes of 89 patients from 1 institution who were treated between September 2003 and February 2010 for CIN lesions used topical interferon alfa 1 million IU/ml drops 4 times daily and retinoic acid 0.01% once every second day.
Diagnosis was made by biopsy and impression cytology. Patients' notes and clinical photographs were reviewed, and data were analyzed. All eyes were monitored for the possibility of recurrence with a minimum of 1 year of follow-up from the time of documented clinical resolution.
All eyes were monitored for the possibility of recurrence with a minimum of 1 year of follow-up from the time of documented clinical resolution.
Complete clinical resolution of the CIN lesions was achieved in 87 of the 89 eyes treated (97.75%). Two of the 89 eyes treated (2.25%) had only a partial response to treatment; of these 2 patients, 1 was taking cyclosporine for keratitis sicca. For the 87 eyes with complete response, resolution occurred after a mean of 1.69 months (range, 19 days to 6.5 months). Mean follow-up after clinical resolution (tumor-free period) was 51.5 months (range, 11-84 months). Four of the 87 patients with complete response developed a mild allergic papillary conjunctivitis that settled on halving the interferon dose to 0.5 million IU drops and reducing the frequency to 3 times daily. Side effects were limited to 1 case of epithelial microcysts and 1 case of marginal keratitis.
In this group of patients observed with CIN lesions, combination treatment of topical retinoic acid and interferon alfa-2b was effective in treating lesions with minimal self-limited side effects with faster and greater resolution and a longer tumor-free period compared with studies using interferon alfa-2b alone. We hypothesize that topical all-trans retinoic acid and interferon alfa-2b may act synergistically. We believe that combination treatment of interferon alfa-2b and retinoic acid may offer a superior alternative to interferon alfa-2b alone in treating CIN.
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