In January of 2018, ECF fellow Dr. Sonal Chaugule, alongside Dr. Paul Finger and Dr. J. Park, published the study “Topical Chemotherapy for Giant Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasia (OSSN) of the Conjunctiva and Cornea: Is Surgery Really Necessary?” in the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology (IJO). We are pleased to announce that this research has recently been chosen for the Best of IJO Awards!
A feature at the recent International Society for Ophthalmic Oncology (ISOO) 2019 meeting, the 2017 American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) meeting, as well as our very own blog and Visionary newsletter, the study showed the surprising efficacy of chemotherapy eye drops. They found that even large squamous cancers of the conjunctiva can be cured with chemotherapy eye drops alone (no surgery). The drops had marvelous results: no evidence of vision-limiting complications, no tumor recurrences, and no patients required additional treatment for their giant OSSN. For all patients in the study, their cancer was cured, proving to researchers that topical chemotherapy drops were not only safe, but also effective as treatment for “giant” OSSN.
Day 1 at the ISOO: International Collaboration & Eye Cancer Care Worldwide
Every two years, eye cancer specialists worldwide convene at the International Society of Ocular Oncology Conference in order to review latest research and encourage international collaboration within the field of ophthalmic oncology.
The day began with a few talks instigating discussion on how to approach international, collaborative efforts, and how to improve on how we currently approach international cooperation. How do we get over international boundaries and laws restricting data-sharing, and varying laws surrounding research across countries? Much is yet to be done, though discussion is expected to continue as specialists from all over the world have convened at this conference.
Read on how Dr. Finger encourages international cooperation here.
What Do We Register and Why?
Featured ECF Fellow: Dr. Puneet Jain
Registries were a huge topic of discussion today. What is possible to be registered, what details should we include within the registry, how do avoid duplicate cases within separate registries, and how do we apply this to international cooperation? Among other points of discussion, however, it was unanimous that functional registries would assist greatly both with research and patient outcomes. The New York Eye Cancer Center’s recently graduated fellow, Dr. Puneet Jain, spoke particularly on the registering of conjunctival melanoma. His research with Dr. Finger evidenced the accuracy of the AJCC’s TMN classification for predicting metastasis.
Developing Worldwide Retinoblastoma Care
Dr. Brenda Gallie discussed the development of retinoblastoma care worldwide. She noted the growing importance of genetic testing, stating a case in which laser treatment was sufficient enough to control the disease. She briefly mentioned project DepictRB as a way to display anonymized patient data, and offered the audience a demo of the program.
The day concluded with unanimous agreement that worldwide collaboration within the field of eye cancer needs to continue and needs to improve. With enhanced cooperation and worldwide registries, the
amount of shared data will assist greatly in advancement of research, diagnosis, and patient outcomes.
Tomorrow we cover ocular melanoma in great detail. Stay tuned, out fellows and Dr. Finger will be informing us with their expertise!
As the year draws to close, as we round out the end of 2017 with holidays celebrating unity, generosity and love, now comes the time for reflection. The year 2017 marked great, landscaping efforts in the field of eye cancer research and training from The Eye Cancer Foundation, culminating perhaps most fantastically with the profound success of The Second Eye Cancer Working Day held in Sydney, Australia, among many other exciting projects. The achievements of this year have served as poignant reminders that hard work and focused philanthropy can support great progress. These accomplishments, shared throughout the buzzing Eye Cancer Foundation’s website, could not be completed without the generous help of donors. For this, the volunteers at The Eye Foundation are extremely grateful.
Your support enables The ECF team to provide much needed fellowship opportunities for new eye cancer specialists from previously unserved countries. As you may know, 7,000 babies with retinoblastoma die each year in the less developed world. The ECF has made a priority of training eye cancer specialists for these countries and will need to support them upon their return. The 2020 initiative, which aims to train 20 retinoblastoma doctors in 20 underserved countries, has already provided fellowship education for 12 deserving ophthalmologists. The ECF’s partnership with The International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) enables this, ensuring the quality of training these fellows receive. It is through your support that these fellowships were established with success, and because of this, children who were born to less fortunate circumstances have a chance at vision and life.
The ECF is especially excited to have sponsored The Second Eye Cancer Working Day, an event bringing together eye cancer specialists from around the world, which embodied much of what The Foundation is all about. In the Working Day, there were sections on developing big data registries used to answer questions that could not be addressed by single center studies. There were initiatives for standards in fellowship education, Dr. Tero Kivelä presented an initiative to promote doctors reporting their clinical outcomes. In addition, The ECF’s open access surgical text and movie atlas was highlighted, and will become public within the next sixth months.
Your gift today demonstrates your dedication to supporting an exciting, functional, and deeply important effort to promote multi-center and international cooperation in ophthalmic oncology. Your gift today will save both vision and lives all over the world. With so much to look forward to, The ECF team hopes they can count on your support.
Please consider making your gift to The Eye Cancer Foundation today, and be a crucial part in this fight against eye cancer. Donate by visiting The Eye Cancer Foundation website, eyecancercure.com, or simply click here.
"Very well treated by Dr. Finger. He explained everything I needed to know about my issue with detail and attention, putting me at ease and giving me confidence to handle this problem for the rest of my life.”