Local control and visual acuity following treatment of medium-sized ocular melanoma using a contact eye plaque: a single surgeon experience

Brachytherapy. May-Jun 2011;10(3):228-31. doi: 10.1016/j.brachy.2010.09.003. Epub 2010 Oct 8.


Purpose: To evaluate the outcomes of choroidal melanoma in (CM) patients treated with (125)I episcleral plaque brachytherapy and to compare our single surgeon results with the multi-institutional Collaborative Ocular Melanoma Study (COMS).

Methods and materials: A review was performed of all CM patients treated with (125)I episcleral plaque brachytherapy by ophthalmologist in accordance with established COMS guidelines.

Results: The records of 35 patients were reviewed. The median longest basal tumor diameter and apical tumor height was 13.5 and 7.8mm, respectively. Median dose to the apex was 8609 cGy at a median dose rate of 92 cGy/h. At a median followup of 45 months, 35 patients had local control and 33 had successful organ preservation. At 5 years, the local control rate was 100%, and the eye preservation rate was 94%. Five patients developed hepatic metastasis at a median of 58 months, and 2 succumbed from disease. The 5-year survival rate was 84%, and the 5-year rate of death with histopathologically confirmed metastasis was 15%. Of the 22 patients with at least 3 years of followup, 68% had a visual acuity in the treated eye of 20/200 or worse.

Conclusion: Excellent local control, eye preservation rates, and survival outcomes following (125)I episcleral plaque application for CM can be optimized by having an experienced ophthalmologist place the plaques. Additionally, hepatic metastasis can occur more than 5 years postimplant regardless of local control; therefore, longer systemic staging should be considered.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brachytherapy / instrumentation*
  • Brachytherapy / methods
  • Equipment Design
  • Eye Neoplasms / complications*
  • Eye Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / complications*
  • Melanoma / radiotherapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vision Disorders / etiology*
  • Vision Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Visual Acuity