Topical interferon or surgical excision for the management of primary ocular surface squamous neoplasia

Ophthalmology. 2008 Aug;115(8):1297-302, 1302.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2008.01.006. Epub 2008 Feb 21.


Objective: To describe the successful treatment and long-term outcomes of primary ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN) with topical interferon alfa-2b or surgical excision.

Design: Retrospective, comparative, interventional case series.

Participants: Twenty-nine consecutive patients with OSSN never before treated.

Intervention: Patients with primary OSSN chose topical interferon alfa-2b or excision with wide surgical margins, with crossover to surgery in those interferon-treated patients whose OSSN failed to regress within 2 months after beginning therapy.

Main outcome measures: Successful resolution of clinical disease at 2 months after topical interferon treatment and time to recurrence after either topical interferon or surgical excision.

Results: Of 29 patients with primary OSSN, 15 elected topical interferon and 14 chose surgical excision. Two patients in the interferon group subsequently underwent surgical excision for apparent lack of response to interferon. No patient in either group developed a recurrence during the study period (disease-free follow-up: interferon group, mean, 35.6 months [95% confidence interval, 21.9-49.3]; surgery group, mean, 35.6 months [22.9-48.3]).

Conclusions: Both topical interferon alfa-2b and aggressive surgical excision appear to be effective for primary OSSN.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / pathology
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / surgery
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Corneal Diseases / drug therapy
  • Corneal Diseases / pathology
  • Corneal Diseases / surgery
  • Corneal Diseases / therapy*
  • Eye Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Eye Neoplasms / pathology
  • Eye Neoplasms / surgery
  • Eye Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Squamous Cell / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Squamous Cell / surgery
  • Neoplasms, Squamous Cell / therapy*
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures*
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Recombinant Proteins