The risk of enucleation after proton beam irradiation of uveal melanoma

Ophthalmology. 1989 Sep;96(9):1377-82; discussion 1382-3. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(89)32738-2.


Enucleation after proton beam irradiation of uveal melanomas occurred in 64 (6.4%) of 994 eyes with a median follow-up time of 2.7 years. The median time between irradiation and enucleation in the 64 enucleated eyes was 13 months. The probability of retaining the eye was 95 and 90%, 2 and 5 years postirradiation, respectively. Three percent of eyes were enucleated during posttreatment year 1, and the yearly rate was 1% by the fourth year. No patient had enucleation later than 5 1/2 years posttreatment. The complication most likely to result in enucleation was neovascular glaucoma although this was frequently managed without enucleation. Other common reasons for enucleation were documented or suspected tumor growth and complete retinal detachment with associated loss of vision. The leading risk factors for enucleation were anterior tumor margin involving the ciliary body, tumor height greater than 8 mm, and proximity of the tumor to the fovea. Based on the presence or absence of these factors, 5-year eye retention rates were 99, 92, and 76% for low-, moderate-, and high-risk groups, respectively. Thus, the probability of eye retention after proton beam irradiation is high even among those at greatest risk of enucleation.

MeSH terms

  • Eye Enucleation*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glaucoma, Neovascular / etiology
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / mortality
  • Melanoma / radiotherapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Protons
  • Retinal Detachment / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Uveal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Uveal Neoplasms / radiotherapy*


  • Protons