Interferon α for the treatment of melanocytic conjunctival lesions
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Herold, T.R. & Hintschich, C. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol (2010) 248: 111. doi:10.1007/s00417-009-1189-0
- 234 Downloads
To evaluate the effect of topical interferon α-2b therapy in the treatment of melanocytic conjunctival lesions.
Non-comparative prospective case series.
Nine patients with histologically proven acquired melanosis with atypia and/or conjunctival melanoma were treated with recombinant IFN α-2b (Intron A, Essex Pharma, Luzern, Switzerland). The agent was diluted under sterile conditions to one million international units per ml Intron A and packed in single-dose units (EDO) by the pharmacy. It was stored in the refrigerator and applied 5 × 1 drop/day topically by the patient for 6 weeks. The patients were seen after 2 weeks and after the end of the treatment. Endpoint of the treatment was the complete regression of pigmentation or absence of cytological atypia in a re-biopsy.
Seven lesions of nine patients showed regression and lost pigmentation. Three patients required a second cycle after the first therapy because of incomplete regression and one patient needed a third cycle of interferon. Only one of the patients needed a fourth cycle of therapy and additional surgery to show stable regression. The follow-up is 24.8 months (median). No local or systemic side-effects were encountered. The pre- and post-treatment photos of two cases will be presented.
Our observations suggest that topical interferon α-2b might be an effective agent for the adjuvant treatment of melanocytic conjunctival tumors without side-effects. It might be an alternative to other more toxic chemotherapeutical agents. A prospective multicenter study will help to finally evaluate the potential of topical interferon therapy for melanocytic conjunctival tumors, in particular PAM with atypia and minimal invasive conjunctival melanoma.