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A. Galor, C. Karp; Pegylated Interferon in the Treatment of Conjunctival Neoplasia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):5700.
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Interferons are a family of naturally-occurring glycoproteins with antiviral and antitumor properties. Pegylation of polyethylene glycol (PEG) to interferon allows for longer retention of the molecule and therefore increases the effectiveness of the drug. Subconjunctival injections of interferon-α2β have been used to treat conjunctival neoplasia. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of subconjunctival injections of PEG-interferon in the treatment of this disease.
A prospective, pilot study on the use of PEG-interferon in the treatment of conjunctival neoplasia.
Four patients were enrolled into the study; one patient was excluded due to noncompliance. Of the three patients included, all were male, with ages ranging from 49 to 80 years at presentation. One patient had a primary conjunctival intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) while two patients presented with recurrent disease. All patients had total clinical resolution of disease after PEG interferon treatment (50 to 80µm/0.5cc). One patient received one injection with a time to lesion resolution of 7 days. A second patient received 3 weekly injections with a time to lesion resolution of 28 days. A third patient received 5 injections over 2.5 months with a time to lesion resolution of 5 months. One patient had disease recurrence 7 months after resolution which was successfully treated with 1 further injection. One patient experienced systemic side effects including fever, malaise, and decreased appetite. Median follow up was 39 months (range 13-42).
Subconjunctival injection of PEG-interferon is a feasible treatment for conjunctival neoplasia. The higher cost of the medication compared to regular interferon may limit its use.
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