Conjunctival intraepithelial and invasive squamous cell carcinomas treated with strontium-90

Radiother Oncol. 1990 Mar;17(3):191-7. doi: 10.1016/0167-8140(90)90203-9.


Twenty-seven patients with malignant epithelial tumors of the conjunctiva were treated between 1967 and 1987. Histological diagnosis was intraepithelial epithelioma in 15 cases (56%) and squamous cell carcinoma in 12 (44%). All patients were treated with a strontium-90 source on cup-shaped applicators of different sizes according to the extension of the tumor. Surface dose ranged from 60 Gy in a single treatment to 140 Gy in 7 fractions, depending on the thickness of the lesion. Fifteen patients were previously untreated, 7 were irradiated after some type of surgical treatment and 5 were treated for recurrence after multiple surgical excisions. Follow-up period ranged from 2 to 15 years. No patient died of his tumor. There were four local recurrences, three of them in patients with intraepithelial carcinoma. Two of the recurrences were salvaged with a new beta-ray treatment and the other two with enucleation. Since 1981, standard policy was to irradiate the entire conjunctiva in patients with diagnosis of intraepithelial epithelioma. Five patients developed cataracts. Considering the high primary control rate and minimal morbidity, strontium irradiation should be considered as a first-choice treatment for conjunctival tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma in Situ / radiotherapy*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy*
  • Conjunctival Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Eye Enucleation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Strontium Radioisotopes / adverse effects
  • Strontium Radioisotopes / therapeutic use*


  • Strontium Radioisotopes