New Cancer Treatment Developed and Tested at the Rand Eye Institute
DALLAS, Texas — A new treatment for pre-cancerous lesions of the eye was presented before the 2000 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). This treatment, introduced by the Rand Eye Institute of Deerfield Beach, Fla., uses an eye drop in the treatment of primary Corneal Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN).
CIN is a tumor on the eye’s surface, which is progressive and has malignant potential; known risk factors include HPV, HIV, and ultraviolet exposure. Treatment of CIN has traditionally involved surgery to remove the tumor and surrounding tissue and then treating the affected area of the eye with cryotherapy (freezing the area) and/or absolute alcohol. Other treatments have involved the use of radiation and the injection of Interferon Alfa 2b (IFNa2b) into the tumor itself.
The eye drop therapy for newly diagnosed CIN was developed and tested at the Rand Eye Institute by Barry A. Schechter, M.D. and Robert S. Nagler, M.D., in collaboration with doctors from the Harkness Eye Institute at Columbia University in New York and SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn.
The doctors studied the effectiveness of Interferon as an eye drop alone without the need for injection, surgery, or radiation. The diseased eyes of seven patients were tested with the novel therapy. After treatment, all seven patients had complete resolution of the CIN lesions with no recurrences. Mild side effects such as itching and slight redness were reported, but all side effects disappeared within one month after completion of the therapy.