Ocular Toxicology and Oncology

The main ocular neoplasms are currently susceptible to conservative treatment. The main shortcomings of conservative treatment lie in its inability to limit the onset of metastasis or to avoid an irreversible loss in vision, due to the lack of detailed knowledge on the collateral effects of the therapy itself. It is also of fundamental importance to be able to avail oneself of studies that can functionally diagnose and monitor the characteristics of each process that leads to the loss of vision. At the same time, it is indispensable to identify, within the treated population, the subjects at risk of tumour through the assessment of systemic factors and factors intrinsic to neoplasms. Only thus will it be possible to select the candidates for adjuvant therapy or targeted follow-up. The use of local and systemic pharmaceuticals can cause poorly-understood ocular alterations. The development of new non-invasive techniques could help in the early diagnosis of these alterations, and in restoring normal ocular structure and functions.

The development of new diagnostic techniques in ophthalmology has made it possible to study, in a more in-depth and less invasive manner, various ocular pathologies, and has brought to light new knowledge on the aetiology of and correlations between morphological and structural damage to the eye. In recent years, non-invasive diagnostic techniques applied to both the posterior and anterior segments of the eye have led to earlier and more refined and precise diagnoses, allowing for earlier intervention and improved results. Additionally, the visual apparatus, and especially the eye, are ideal models for the study of toxic effects caused by illnesses affecting other organs or systems, or different therapeutic interventions. At the ocular level, one can study, in a non invasive manner and in vivo, the micro-circle (the retinal one is analogous to the cerebral one) and the various components of the nervous system (both central: the retinal ganglion fibres; and peripheral: corneal innervation). These are the premises underlying the first in vivo applications of ocular toxicology aimed at the study of both systemic diseases and modern therapeutic approaches.