Topical therapies offer a nonsurgical method for treating conjunctival tumors by delivering high drug concentrations to the ocular surface. Over the past ten years, topical agents have been used by investigators to treat various premalignant and malignant lesions of the conjunctiva, such as primary acquired melanosis with atypia, conjunctival melanoma, squamous intraepithelial neoplasia and squamous cell carcinoma of the conjunctiva, and pagetoid spread of the conjunctiva arising from sebaceous cell carcinoma. Despite the enthusiasm generated by the success of these agents, there are unanswered questions regarding the clinical efficacy of this new nonsurgical approach, and whether a single topical agent can achieve cure rates comparable with traditional therapies. Furthermore, the long-term consequences of prolonged courses of topical chemotherapeutic drugs on the ocular surface are unknown, and the ideal regimen for each of these agents is still being refined. In this review, we present specific guidelines for treating both melanocytic and squamous neoplasms of the conjunctiva, utilizing the available data in the literature as well as our own clinical experience at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Keywords: 5-Fluorouracil; Mitomycin-C; conjunctival neoplasms melanosis; topical therapies.