Proton beam therapy for iris melanoma: a review of 15 cases

Eye (Lond). 2007 Jan;21(1):79-82. doi: 10.1038/sj.eye.6702132. Epub 2006 Jan 13.


Aim: To report results of proton beam therapy for iris melanoma.

Methods: A retrospective case series of 15 patients with nonresectable iris melanomas treated with proton beam therapy between August 1998 and August 2004. The main outcome measures were (1) local tumour control, (2) complications, and (3) eye retention.

Results: Of the 15 cases, 11 patients showed documented growth (including two cases of local recurrence following iridocyclectomy) while a further three cases were biopsy-proven melanoma. One patient presented with a newly acquired vascular nodule of the iris associated with angle seeding and glaucoma. Tumour control at mean follow-up of 34 months was 93% (14 of 15 eyes). Common complications included glaucoma in 53% (five patients had glaucoma prior to irradiation), dry eye (27%) and cataract in three patients (20%). Eye retention was possible in 80% (12 cases).

Conclusion: Proton beam therapy is an effective treatment for cases of nonresectable iris melanoma. The major complications are cataract and glaucoma.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cataract / etiology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glaucoma / etiology
  • Humans
  • Iris Neoplasms / pathology
  • Iris Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Male
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanoma / radiotherapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Proton Therapy*
  • Protons / adverse effects
  • Radiation Injuries / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Protons