Topical mitomycin C in the treatment of pigmented conjunctival lesions

Cornea. 2003 Mar;22(2):114-7. doi: 10.1097/00003226-200303000-00006.


Purpose: To assess the clinical efficacy of topical mitomycin C (MMC) 0.04% for the treatment of patients with pigmented conjunctival lesions. Clinical efficacy was evaluated on the basis of reduction in lesion size and degree of pigmentation and histologic study.

Methods: Two patients, one with primary acquired conjunctival melanosis with atypia and another with conjunctival melanoma, were treated with topical MMC 0.04%. Before treatment, a biopsy was performed that confirmed the diagnosis and the absence of atypical melanocytes beyond the basal layer. In both patients, MMC was administered with sponges, while one patient additionally received MMC 0.04% drops. Each treatment cycle lasted 14 days, with repetition after 3 months when necessary. Follow-up was weekly, then monthly, and then every 6 months up to 3 years.

Results: Treatment with topical MMC 0.04% not only reduced the size and degree of pigmentation clinical lesions in both patients but also eradicated atypical conjunctival melanocytes as observed in histologic studies. In the patient with primary acquired conjunctival melanosis, adjunct cryotherapy was required, along with various cycles of MMC, to reduce the pigmented areas of skin of the internal canthus and caruncle. In the second case, only MMC was used. No severe adverse reactions to the treatment were observed. After 3 years of follow-up, no clinical relapse has been detected.

Conclusion: Topical MMC 0.04% is an option worth considering for the treatment of pigmented conjunctival lesions, particularly as an adjunct to other forms of treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Aged
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use*
  • Conjunctival Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Conjunctival Diseases / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanocytes / drug effects
  • Melanocytes / pathology
  • Melanosis / drug therapy*
  • Melanosis / pathology
  • Mitomycin / therapeutic use*
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Mitomycin