Mitomycin: clinical applications in ophthalmic practice

Drugs. 2006;66(3):321-40. doi: 10.2165/00003495-200666030-00005.


Mitomycin (mitomycin C; MMC) is an antibiotic isolated from Streptomyces caespitosus. The drug is a bioreductive alkylating agent that undergoes metabolic reductive activation, and has various oxygen tension-dependent cytotoxic effects on cells, including the cross-linking of DNA. It is widely used systemically for the treatment of malignancies, and has gained popularity as topical adjunctive therapy in ocular and adnexal surgery over the past 2 decades. In ophthalmic medicine, it is principally used to inhibit the wound healing response and reduce scarring of surgically fashioned ostia. Hence, it has been used as adjunctive therapy in various ocular surgeries, such as glaucoma filtering surgeries, dacryocystorhinostomy, corneal refractive surgery and surgeries for ocular cicatrisation. In addition, it has been used as an adjunct in the surgical management of pterygia, ocular surface squamous neoplasia, primary acquired melanosis with atypia and conjunctival melanoma. In many of these surgeries and ophthalmic pathologies, MMC showed a significant beneficial effect.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / adverse effects
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / pharmacology
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use*
  • Cicatrix / prevention & control*
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Glaucoma / drug therapy*
  • Glaucoma / surgery
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / drug therapy*
  • Mitomycin / adverse effects
  • Mitomycin / pharmacology
  • Mitomycin / therapeutic use*
  • Neoplasms, Squamous Cell / drug therapy*
  • Ophthalmology / trends
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Trabeculectomy
  • Wound Healing / drug effects


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Mitomycin