Purpose: To evaluate long-term outcomes of eye-conserving treatment using Ruthenium-106 plaque brachytherapy with or without transpupillary thermotherapy (TTT) for small to intermediate size choroidal melanomas.
Methods: Outcomes of 425 consecutive patients were analysed. The median basal tumour diameter was 10.9 mm (range 4.8-15.9 mm), and the median apical height 4.2 mm (range 1.2-9.3 mm). Brachytherapy doses ranged from 400 to 600Gy with TTT (86%), or from 600 to 800Gy without TTT (14%), specified at the scleral surface. Kaplan-Meier survival curves, log-rank tests and Cox regression analysis were used for analysis.
Results: Median follow-up was 50 months. Five-year actuarial local control was 96%. Five-year overall and metastases-free survival rates were 79.6% and 76.5%. Prognostic factors for metastasis-free survival were peripheral location (p=0.02) and smaller basal diameter (p<0.001). No dose effect relationships were found. Radiation side effects were frequent, with 2- and 5-year rates free of radiation complications of 60% and 35%. Five-year enucleation rate was 4.4% (10 for local recurrence, 7 for complications). Cosmetic and functional (visual acuity >0.10) eye preservation rates were 96% and 52% at 5 years.
Conclusions: Ruthenium-106 brachytherapy for choroidal melanoma provides excellent rates of local control and eye preservation.
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