Background: The objective of this study was to analyse the dynamics and importance of different choroidal melanoma echographic parameters (height, base diameter, volume and internal reflectivity) after (106)Ru brachytherapy (BT Ru) and to assess at what time after treatment it is most appropriate to evaluate the outcome.
Patients and methods: A retrospective study was performed in 65 patients. The mean height of tumours was 4.8 mm. The mean dose to the tumour apex was 100 Gy. The patients were followed-up for a period of 22 to 169 months.
Results: With regard to the treatment outcome, the patients were categorised into three groups: successfully treated patients, in whom the tumour regressed with no metastatic spread, unsuccessfully treated patients, in whom enucleation was required because of the recurrence or further growth, and deceased patients. The largest decrease of tumour size was observed within 12 months after brachytherapy. The groups of deceased and successfully treated patients did not significantly differ as to the extent and rate of tumour decrease. In the local failure group, the tumour decrease in the first year after brachytherapy was less than in the other two groups.
Conclusions: To follow-up the regression of the malignant melanoma of the choroid after brachytherapy with (106)Ru, the most reliable measurements were those of the tumour height. In the tumours that regressed, it is appropriate to evaluate the efficiency of treatment one year after brachytherapy. Recurrent growth may be expected in the tumours that regressed poorly.