Episcleral plaque radiotherapy in the treatment of uveal melanomas

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1992;24(2):247-51. doi: 10.1016/0360-3016(92)90679-c.


During an 8-year period, 85 patients with uveal melanomas were treated with episcleral plaque radiotherapy (EPRT). The T-stage was: T1-3 (4%), T2-29 (34%) and T3-53 (62%). The mean tumor elevation was 6.1 mm. Radiation dose was prescribed at the tumor apex and at D5mm. The mean D5mm dose was 150.1 Gy (range 70.5-430 Gy) and the mean dose at the apex was 102.6 Gy (range 29.8-200 Gy). Useful vision (greater than 5/200) was maintained in 73% of patients. The 5-year actuarial survival was 88%. Metastatic disease developed in 9 (11%) patients, 6 of whom died of their disease. Basal tumor dimensions were important factors predicting metastatic disease, p = 0.002. A decrease in tumor evaluation was seen in 82%. There was a much lower incidence of decrease in tumor radial and circumferential dimensions, 47.5 and 46%, respectively, p less than 0.001. Treatment complications were common (56%), particularly in patients with large tumors (72%), p = 0.04. The incidence of complications was higher in patients treated prior to 1988 as compared to those who were treated more recently (67 vs 35%, p = 0.010). There were 13 (15%) patients who had enucleation. This included 12 treated before 1986 and 1 patient treated subsequently (46 vs 2%, p less than 0.001). In a univariate analysis, tumor height and radiation dose at D5mm were important factors predicting enucleation, p = 0.004. In a multivariate analysis, however, the most important factor predicting enucleation was treatment administration prior to 1986, p less than 0.001). A sharp decrease in the incidence of severe complications, including enucleation, as seen after 1985, is likely due to a major effort in treatment optimization.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brachytherapy / adverse effects
  • Brachytherapy / instrumentation*
  • Choroid Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Choroid Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Eye Enucleation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / epidemiology
  • Melanoma / radiotherapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate