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Ocul Oncol Pathol. 2019 Jun;5(4):252-257. doi: 10.1159/000490706. Epub 2018 Nov 2.

Regression of Sebaceous Carcinoma of the Eyelid after a Small Incisional Biopsy: Report of Two Cases.

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Department of Ophthalmology, The Ottawa Hospital and University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Department Pathology, The Ottawa Hospital and University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Pathology, University of Montreal, Montreal, Québec, Canada.
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Montreal, Montreal, Québec, Canada.



To report 2 cases of regression of sebaceous carcinoma of the eyelid after a small incisional biopsy.


Clinical, imaging, and histopathological findings are presented, with a literature review on regressing ocular tumors.


Our first patient was a 79-year-old man who presented with a 10-month history of progressive left upper eyelid ptosis caused by an eyelid tumor with orbital involvement and confirmed on magnetic resonance imaging. Our second patient was a 70-year-old woman who presented with ptosis with a left upper eyelid mass. Both patients underwent a small incisional biopsy of their lesion. The histopathological diagnoses in both cases were consistent with sebaceous carcinoma. Both patients refused exenteration. Follow-up clinical examination and imaging disclosed total regression of the ptosis and of the neoplasm with no sign of recurrence in both patients over a 4-year period for Case 1 and a 7-year period for Case 2.


Regression following incisional biopsy of basal cell, squamous cell, and Merkel cell carcinoma, including of the eyelid, is well documented. To the best of our knowledge, our 2 cases of sebaceous carcinoma are the first to be reported with total involution clinically and on imaging of the tumor following partial incisional biopsy.


Exenteration; Eyelid; Orbit; Ptosis; Sebaceous carcinoma; Small incisional biopsy; Spontaneous regression

[Available on 2020-06-01]

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have no financial conflict of interest to disclose. All of the authors have seen and given their approval for the submission of this paper. They warrant that this article is the authors' original work, has not received prior publication, and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.

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