The impact of anticancer drugs on the ocular surface

J.C.B. Chiang, I. Zahari, M. Markoulli, A.V. Krishnan, S.B. Park, A. Semmler, D. Goldstein, K. Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cancer is a global health problem and is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Pleasingly, the rate of survival has improved and continues in an upward trend mainly due to better diagnosis and treatment modalities. In particular, the development of anticancer drugs including cytotoxic chemotherapy, hormonal agents and targeted therapies have provided the most effective treatment options in combatting cancerous cells. However, the antineoplastic mechanisms of these drugs can also lead to undesirable systemic and ocular side effects resulting from cytotoxicity, inflammation and neurotoxicity. While survival rates are projected to increase with time, the number of patients presenting with these side effects that can substantially impact quality of life will also rise. The current paper reviews the ocular surface and adnexal side effects of anticancer drugs, the appropriate management and possible interactions between drugs for ocular surface pathology treatment and the anticancer drugs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-417
JournalOcular Surface
Issue number3
Early online date25 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Anticancer drugs
  • Chemotherapy
  • Drug interactions
  • Hormonal agents
  • Ocular adnexa
  • Ocular side effects
  • Ocular surface
  • Targeted therapies


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