Purpose: To determine whether metastasis-free survival following stereotactic radiosurgery is comparable with that following enucleation in a cohort of patients with choroidal and ciliary body melanoma.
Methods: This was a non-randomized, retrospective study of 196 patients with uveal melanoma treated between 1990 and 2000. A total of 118 eyes were enucleated and 78 eyes were treated with stereotactic radiosurgery. The following variables were recorded: age and sex of patient; tumour location, volume and height; the presence of retinal detachment, and extrascleral extension. Tumour location was divided into three categories: within the posterior pole; beyond the limits of the posterior pole but not including the ciliary body, and ciliary body location. Analysis of survival time was performed using Kaplan-Meier estimation of survival curves and Cox's proportional hazards regression modelling.
Results: The 5-year cumulative metastasis-free survival rate was 51% in the enucleation treatment group compared to 74% in the stereotactic treatment group. However, in the multivariate analysis there was no statistical difference in survival rates between the two treatment groups. The only variables that influenced survival rates were tumour location (p = 0.002), ciliary body tumours with the worst prognosis, and tumour volume (p = 0.001).
Conclusions: Tumour size and location at presentation determined metastasis-free survival. Large ciliary body tumours had the highest risk of metastasis. Metastasis-free survival after stereotactic radiosurgery was comparable to that after enucleation.