Topical mitomycin-C for pagetoid invasion of the conjunctiva by eyelid sebaceous gland carcinoma

Ophthalmology. 2002 Nov;109(11):2129-33. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(02)01239-3.


Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy of topical mitomycin-C for pagetoid invasion of the conjunctiva by sebaceous gland carcinoma.

Design: Prospective noncomparative consecutive interventional case series.

Intervention: All patients received topical 0.04% mitomycin-C four times daily for 1 week followed by 1 week off medication. The treatment cycles were repeated until resolution of the conjunctival malignancy was clinically evident.

Participants: Four patients with histopathologically proven intraepithelial (pagetoid) invasion of the conjunctiva by sebaceous gland carcinoma were managed with this regimen.

Results: The mean patient age was 78 years. Before treatment, the main tumor site included the upper eyelid in two cases and the lower eyelid in two cases. Previous resection of the tumor had been performed elsewhere in three cases over the prior 6 years. At the time of our examination, map biopsies confirmed pagetoid invasion involving 25% to 90% of the conjunctival surface, with bulbar, forniceal, and tarsal conjunctival involvement in all four cases and corneal extension in one case. There was no evidence of deep tumor within the conjunctival stroma or tarsus in any case. After treatment, medication intolerance and early discontinuation occurred in one patient, and continued tumor progression was documented. Of the remaining three patients, chemotherapy was used for a mean of four cycles with complete resolution of the pagetoid invasion, confirmed histopathologically in two cases, and without recurrence in all three cases over 12 months (mean) follow-up. The medication caused moderate temporary local irritation but no serious intraocular or extraocular complications.

Conclusions: Preliminary evidence suggests that topical mitomycin-C is effective treatment for pagetoid invasion of the conjunctiva by sebaceous gland carcinoma. Longer follow-up is necessary to assess the duration of tumor control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Sebaceous / drug therapy*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Sebaceous / pathology
  • Administration, Topical
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use*
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / pathology
  • Eyelid Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Eyelid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mitomycin / therapeutic use*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sebaceous Gland Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Sebaceous Gland Neoplasms / pathology


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Mitomycin