Ciliary body melanoma treated with helium particle irradiation

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1990 Aug;19(2):243-7. doi: 10.1016/0360-3016(90)90530-w.


Melanoma involving the ciliary body is a rare tumor which carries a poor prognosis when compared to all uveal melanoma. We have treated 54 patients with ciliary body melanoma using helium ions from 1978 to 1985. Because of the high rate of metastatic disease, the 5-year disease specific survival rate is only 59% despite a 5-year local control rate of 98%. The greatest diameter of the tumor was predictive of loss of vision and enucleation (p = .05, p = .04, respectively). Multivariate analysis showed that the greatest diameter of the tumor was the most important predictor of death from metastases. The incidence of neovascular glaucoma at 5 years is 43%. The 5-year actuarial rate of enucleation is 26%. Enucleation was done for pain and/or neovascular glaucoma. Univariate analysis showed treatment volume to be a statistically significant predictor for the development of neovascular glaucoma (p = .0017) and enucleation (p = .0078). Seventy percent of neovascular glaucoma occurred in patients with treatment volume greater than 5.5 cc. Seventy-four percent occurred in patients with an initial ultrasound height greater than 9.2 mm. Using this information, patients at high risk for neovascular glaucoma could be considered for prophylactic treatment with panretinal photocoagulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ciliary Body*
  • Glaucoma, Neovascular / etiology
  • Helium
  • Humans
  • Ions
  • Melanoma / mortality
  • Melanoma / radiotherapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Particle Accelerators
  • Radiotherapy, High-Energy
  • Survival Rate
  • Uveal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Uveal Neoplasms / radiotherapy*


  • Ions
  • Helium