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  1. A S Solomon
  1. Correspondence to: Arieh S Solomon MD, PhD, Goldschleger Eye Research Institute, Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer, 52621, Israel; asolomon{at}

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Can we provide medical and not surgical cure?

Pterygium is a common frequently occurring ocular surface lesion characterised by inflammation, angiogenesis, and cellular proliferation, which result in tissue remodelling.

In this issue of BJO (p 769), Wong and colleagues present the finding of a new gene that was changed in primary pterygium.

It is the gene for insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3, (IGFBP3), which modulates the effects of insulin-like growth factor on cells. IGFB3 was significantly decreased in pterygium samples compared with normal conjunctiva. Decreased levels of IGFB3 protein have been strongly correlated with the presence of cancer.1 It might be that the low level of IGFP3 is related to loss of control of the cell proliferation process, which explains the continued growth of pterygium. Solomon and colleagues2 found in their work an insulin-like growth factor binding protein-2 (IGFBP2) overexpression in pterygium body fibroblasts. This is strong evidence to support the transformed phenotype of these cells and may explain …

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