The Evolving Story of Pterygium.Cornea. 2018 Nov; 37 Suppl 1:S55-S57.C
Pterygium is a fibrovascular subepithelial growth of degenerative tissue over the limbus. It is a common condition worldwide that is especially prevalent in tropical countries within the "pterygium belt." Its exact etiology remains to be elucidated; however, it is strongly associated with exposure to ultraviolet light. The high expression levels of tumor protein p53 (TP53) observed in laboratory studies of pterygium seem to contradict the fast-growing nature of its clinical behavior, and TP53 mutations have been suggested. We demonstrated that mouse double minute 2 (MDM2), a TP53-binding protein, contributes to the inhibition of TP53 activity in human pterygium. Thus, disruption of the MDM2-TP53 interaction should attenuate human pterygium cell growth. For primary pterygium, treatment is relatively straightforward and involves surgical excision. To minimize the risk of recurrence, many adjunctive therapies are adopted, including antimetabolites, such as mitomycin C and 5-fluorouracil, amniotic membrane, different variations on conjunctival and/or limbal conjunctival grafts, and other medications such as anti-vascular endothelial growth factor. In the future, MDM2 antagonists may help further lower the recurrence rates after the treatment of pterygium.