Conjunctival tumors affect the area inside the eyelids and on the surface, or white, of the eye. They are primarily related to ultraviolet light exposure from the sun.
Conjunctival cancers (primarily melanoma and squamous carcinoma) are commonly treated with a combination of surgical removal “excision” and cryo- “freezing” therapy. Dr. Finger has developed specialized cryotherapy applicators for treatment of conjunctival cancer. Compared to standard retinal cryotherapy probes used at most centers, “Finger-tip” applicators provide larger surface areas for more complete, uniform freezing of conjunctival, scleral and corneal tumors.
Although it can be simple to diagnose these tumors, advances in treatment options have made treatment decisions (even biopsy) more complex in recent years.
Excision of the tumor alone has been associated with a high recurrence rate. In 1993, Dr. Finger published the first case where mitomycin chemotherapy eye drops were used to treat malignant melanoma of the conjunctiva and cornea. Since that publication, the technique has been used around the world. More recently (2008), Dr. Finger has found that Interferon alpha eye drops could be used for treatment of conjunctival melanomas. Dr. Finger periodically reports his outcomes in the published literature (see here and here).
For more information on the advances in treatment techniques for conjunctival tumors, download the PDF: