Ocular side effects of novel anti-cancer biological therapies

Vicktoria Vishnevskia-Dai*, Lihi Rozner, Raanan Berger, Ziv Jaron, Sivan Elyashiv, Gal Markel, Ofira Zloto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To examine the ocular side effects of selected biological anti-cancer therapies and the ocular and systemic prognosis of patients receiving them. We retrospectively reviewed all medical records of patients who received biological anti-cancer treatment from 1/2012 to 12/2017 and who were treated at our ocular oncology service. The following data was retrieved: primary malignancy, metastasis, type of biological therapy, ocular side effects, ophthalmic treatment, non-ocular side effects, and ocular and systemic disease prognoses. Twenty-two patients received biological therapies and reported ocular side effects. Eighteen patients (81.8%) had bilateral ocular side effects, including uveitis (40.9%), dry eye (22.7%), and central serous retinopathy (22.7%). One patient (4.5%) had central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO), and one patient (4.5%) had branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO). At the end of follow-up, 6 patients (27.27%) had resolution of the ocular disease, 13 patients (59.09%) had stable ocular disease, and 3 patients (13.64%) had progression of the ocular disease. Visual acuity improved significantly at the end of follow-up compared to initial values. Eighteen patients (81.8%) were alive at study closure. Biological therapies can cause a wide range of ocular side effects ranging from dry eye symptoms to severe pathologies that may cause ocular morbidity and vision loss, such as uveitis, CRAO and BRVO. All patients receiving biological treatments should be screened by ophthalmologists before treatment, re-screened every 4–6 months during treatment, and again at the end of treatment. Patients on biological treatment who have ocular complaints should be urgently referred to ocular consultation for early identification and early intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number787
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


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