Surgical versus medical treatment of ocular surface squamous neoplasia: A comparison of recurrences and complications

Afshan A. Nanji, Christina S. Moon, Anat Galor, Julia Sein, Patrick Oellers, Carol L. Karp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Purpose Treatment for ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN) has historically been surgery, but nonsurgical interventions are increasingly used. Treatment with interferon is efficacious, but evidence is needed regarding recurrence and complication rates in comparison with surgery. The objective of this study is to compare the recurrence and complication rates of surgical treatment and interferon treatment for OSSN. Design A matched, case-control study. Participants Ninety-eight patients with OSSN, 49 of whom were treated with interferon (IFN) α2b therapy and 49 of whom were treated with surgical intervention. Methods Patients with OSSN were treated with surgery versus IFNα2b therapy, either in topical or injection form. Median follow-up after lesion resolution was 21 months (range, 0-173 months) for the IFNα2b group and 24 months (range, 0.9-108 months) for the surgery group. Main Outcome Measures The primary outcome measure for the study was the rate of recurrence of OSSN in each of the treatment groups. Recurrence rates were evaluated using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. Results Mean patient age and sex were similar between the groups. There was a trend toward higher clinical American Joint Committee on Cancer tumor grade in the IFNα2b group. Despite this, the number of recurrences was equal at 3 per group. The 1-year recurrence rate was 5% in the surgery group versus 3% in the IFNα2b group (P = 0.80). There was no statistically significant difference in the recurrence rate between the surgically and medically treated groups. Nonlimbal location was a risk factor for recurrence (hazard ratio, 8.96) in the entire study population. In patients who were treated successfully, the side effects of the 2 treatments were similar, with mild discomfort seen in the majority of patients in both groups. There was no limbal stem cell deficiency, symblepharon, or diplopia noted in either group. Two patients were excluded from the IFNα2b group because of intolerance to the medication. Conclusions No difference in the recurrence rate of OSSN was found between surgical versus IFNα2b therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)994-1000
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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