Impact of local tumor relapse on patient survival after cobalt 60 plaque radiotherapy

Ophthalmology. 1991 Jun;98(6):984-8. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(91)32193-6.


The authors investigated the impact of local intraocular tumor relapse on survival in a matched-group comparison study of patients with primary choroidal or ciliary body melanoma managed with cobalt 60 plaque radiotherapy. Sixty-two patients with local relapse were matched with an equal number of relapse-free patients in terms of known clinical prognostic factors for both melanoma-specific mortality (largest linear tumor dimension, location of anterior tumor margin, age) and local tumor relapse (location of posterior tumor margin). The follow-up of every relapse-free patient equaled or exceeded the interval to relapse for each matched patient with local relapse. The estimated 5-year survival (Kaplan-Meier) in the relapse-free patients was 87% (standard error = 4%), while that in the local relapse group was 58% (standard error = 6%). This difference is statistically significant (P less than 0.0001, log rank test). These results support the hypothesis that local tumor relapse after cobalt 60 plaque radiotherapy is an important post-treatment clinical indicator of the tumor's greater malignant potential and the patient's increased risk of melanoma-specific mortality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brachytherapy
  • Choroid Neoplasms / mortality
  • Choroid Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Ciliary Body / radiation effects
  • Cobalt Radioisotopes / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / mortality
  • Melanoma / radiotherapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality*
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate
  • Uveal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Uveal Neoplasms / radiotherapy*


  • Cobalt Radioisotopes