Prognostic factors in uveal melanoma

Melanoma Res. 2001 Jun;11(3):255-63. doi: 10.1097/00008390-200106000-00007.


Uveal melanoma is the most common primary intraocular malignant tumour, with an annual incidence of approximately six cases per million per year. Approximately 40% of patients with posterior uveal melanoma develop metastatic melanoma to the liver within 10 years after initial diagnosis. Despite high accuracy of diagnosis and availability of various methods of treatment; the mortality due to uveal melanoma has remained unchanged. The prognosis in uveal melanoma depends on clinical, histopathological and cytological factors. Clinical factors that relate to prognosis include location, size, and configuration of the tumour. Uveal melanoma can arise in the iris, the ciliary body or the choroid. Iris melanomas have the best prognosis and ciliary body melanomas have the worst prognosis. Based on retrospective studies, the mortality rates for uveal melanoma for comparable sized tumours treated by enucleation or other globe conserving methods such as radiotherapy appear to be similar. Histopathological factors such as cell type, mitotic activity, microcirculation architecture, tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes and the presence of extrascleral extension are also significant predictors of survival. More recently, cytological factors such as cell proliferation, cytogenic, and molecular genetic prognostic markers have been identified with the hope of detecting high risk cases for adjuvant systemic immune therapy or chemotherapy. At present, the role of these therapeutic methods is not clearly established.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / diagnosis*
  • Melanoma / genetics
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Prognosis*
  • Time Factors
  • Uveal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Uveal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Uveal Neoplasms / pathology