Sebaceous Carcinoma of the Ocular Region: The 2014 Professor Winifred Mao Lecture

Jerry A Shields, Jarin Saktanasate, Sara E Lally, Jacqueline R Carrasco, Carol L Shields
Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology 2015, 4 (4): 221-7
Sebaceous carcinoma is a malignancy arising in the periocular region that can lead to blindness and tumor-related metastases. This study is a review of published literature and personal experience. This malignancy can arise from the sebaceous units in the tarsus (meibomian glands), in association with the cilia (Zeis glands), in the brow, and in the caruncle. There is a tendency for diffuse intraepithelial growth (pagetoid spread) that can be clinically invisible. Detection before lymph node metastasis is critical. This malignancy often masquerades as chronic unilateral conjunctivitis or blepharitis, typically in older patients. Management includes a 2-step approach with step 1 focused on eyelid and conjunctival map biopsies to determine the full extent of solid deep tumor and pagetoid spread. After complete review of all biopsies, step 2 is performed using local resection for all deep tumor, cryotherapy to pagetoid disease, and reconstruction. In most cases, the posterior lamella of eyelid is sacrificed with tumor removal, whereas the anterior lamella of the eyelid can be saved. After removal and cryotherapy, immediate reconstruction, using clean instruments, with buccal membrane graft for the posterior lamella and skin flap for the anterior lamella, is developed. For persistent or recurrent pagetoid disease, cryotherapy, topical mitomycin C, or plaque radiotherapy is provided. Exenteration is sometimes necessary. Sebaceous carcinoma, if detected early, can be managed with carefully planned map biopsy to determine tumor extent, followed by local resection, cryotherapy, and eyelid reconstruction. Orbital exenteration is occasionally necessary.

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