Purpose: To report on the heterogeneity of monosomy 3 in a fine needle aspiration biopsy obtained transsclerally from choroidal melanoma for prognosis.
Methods: All clinical records for patients who had been diagnosed with choroidal melanoma and underwent iodine-125 plaque brachytherapy with intraoperative transscleral fine needle aspiration biopsy from January 2005 to August 20, 2011, and who had a positive result for monosomy 3 according to fluorescence in situ hybridization as reported by clinical cytogenetics testing were collected. Patient age and sex, total number of cells evaluated and number of cells positive for monosomy 3, tumor size, and metastatic outcome were recorded for each patient.
Results: A positive result for monosomy 3 was reported in 93 patients who underwent transscleral fine needle aspiration biopsy. Two patients were lost to follow-up immediately post-operatively, and the remaining 91 patients were included in this study. The mean number of cells evaluated in the biopsy was 273 (range 28 to 520). The mean percentage of cells positive for monosomy 3 was 62.9% (range 4.7%-100%). The mean tumor height was 5.91 mm (range 1.99 to 10.85 mm). Larger tumors were associated with a higher percentage of cells positive for monosomy 3. During the average follow-up interval of 28.9 months (range 3-76 months), choroidal melanoma metastasis developed in 18 (20%) patients. Patients whose tumors had 1%-33% of cells positive for monosomy 3 had a significantly lower risk of metastasis-related death compared to patients whose tumors harbored a higher percentage of monosomy 3 (p = 0.04).
Conclusions: Cytogenetic heterogeneity of fluorescent in situ hybridization for monosomy 3 exists in a biopsy sample. Larger tumors were more likely to have a higher percentage of monosomy 3 positive cells in the sample. Furthermore, patients whose tumors had more than 33% of cells positive for monosomy 3 had a poorer prognosis than patients whose tumors had lower percentages of monosomy 3.