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Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

Lacrimal Gland Tumors

The lacrimal gland is responsible for tear production. A variety of conditions affect this gland, including: infection, inflammation, benign lesions and malignant tumors. An oculoplastic surgeon will thoroughly evaluate the patient to determine the etiology and the appropriate course of treatment.

The specialists at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute are also actively working to improve the treatment of these conditions. For example, adenoid cystic carcinoma is well known to be an aggressive cancer of the lacrimal gland. In the past, patients underwent radical tumor excision, including the eye and orbital tissues (exenteration), as well as chemotherapy. Despite treatment, many succumbed to the disease. In recent years, the surgeons here at Bascom Palmer pioneered a new method of treatment: intra-arterial cytoreductive chemotherapy (IACC). During treatment, a catheter is introduced into an artery in the thigh and threaded up to the lacrimal gland area. The catheter then delivers a powerful, concentrated dose of chemotherapy directly to the tumor. This treatment has improved long-term survival in patients with diseases amenable to this method of treatment.