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Topical interferon alpha 2b eye-drops for treatment of ocular surface squamous neoplasia: a dose comparison study
  1. A Galor,
  2. C L Karp,
  3. S Chhabra,
  4. S Barnes,
  5. E C Alfonso
  1. Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr C L Karp, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, 900 NW 17 Street, Miami, FL 33136, USA; ckarp{at}


Background/aims To compare the effectiveness and side-effect profile of two doses of interferon alpha2b (IFNα2b) eye-drops (1 million international units (IU)/ml versus 3 million IU/ml) in the treatment of ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN).

Methods Retrospective case series.

Results Thirty-five eyes were identified over an 11-year period (1996–2007). Twenty-one eyes (19 patients) with conjunctival intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) were treated with 1 million IU/ml of topical IFN-α2b; 12 eyes (nine patients) with CIN were treated with 3 million IU/ml. Two patients with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) were treated with topical interferon, one with 1 million IU/ml and one with 3 million IU/ml. Baseline demographic information was not statistically different between the two groups. In patients with CIN, topical therapy eliminated disease in 81% of eyes in the 1 million IU/ml group versus 92%, in the 3 million IU/ml group, p=0.41. The median time to OSSN resolution was 2.8 months in the 1 million IU/ml group and 1.9 months in the 3 million IU/ml group, p=0.55. Neither eye with SCC responded to interferon therapy. Topical therapy was well tolerated. After a median follow-up of 24 months, three recurrences were seen in eyes successfully treated with topical therapy.

Conclusion In our study, there were no significant differences between the 1 million IU/ml group and the 3 million IU/ml group for the treatment of CIN.

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  • Funding Unrestricted funds from Research to Prevent Blindness.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by University of Miami Institutional Review Board.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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