Charged particle radiation therapy for uveal melanoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2013 May 1;86(1):18-26. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2012.08.026. Epub 2012 Oct 3.


Charged particle therapy (CPT) delivered with either protons, helium ions, or carbon ions, has been used to treat uveal melanoma. The present analysis was performed to systematically evaluate the efficacy and adverse effects of CPT for uveal melanoma. We searched EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and SciVerse Scopus and cross-referenced recent systematic reviews through January 2012. Two independent reviewers identified clinical trials and observational studies of CPT (protons, helium ions, and carbon ions). These reviewers extracted data and assessed study quality. Twenty-seven studies enrolling 8809 uveal melanoma patients met inclusion criteria. The rate of local recurrence was significantly less with CPT than with brachytherapy (odds ratio [OR] = 0.22, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.21-0.23). There were no significant differences in mortality or enucleation rates. Results were robust in multiple sensitivity analyses. CPT was also associated with lower retinopathy and cataract formation rates. Data suggest better outcomes may be possible with charged particle therapy with respect to local recurrence, retinopathy, and cataract formation rates. The overall quality of the evidence is low, and higher quality comparative effectiveness studies are needed to provide better evidence.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Eye Enucleation / statistics & numerical data
  • Heavy Ion Radiotherapy / adverse effects
  • Heavy Ion Radiotherapy / methods*
  • Helium / adverse effects
  • Helium / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / radiotherapy*
  • Proton Therapy / adverse effects
  • Proton Therapy / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uveal Neoplasms / radiotherapy*


  • Helium

Supplementary concepts

  • Uveal melanoma