Local Recurrence Significantly Increases the Risk of Metastatic Uveal Melanoma

Ophthalmology. 2016 Jan;123(1):86-91. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2015.09.014. Epub 2015 Oct 21.


Purpose: To assess of the effect of local recurrence of uveal melanoma on metastasis using a multicenter international tumor registry.

Design: Retrospective study using an online tumor registry.

Participants: Patients with uveal melanoma diagnosed between 2001 and 2011.

Methods: A committee was formed to create uveal melanoma patient-specific data fields. Ten subspecialty ophthalmic oncology centers from 4 continents shared data. Patient selection criteria included diagnosis of uveal melanoma and adequate records to allow tumor staging by American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) criteria and follow-up for metastatic melanoma.

Main outcome measures: Local tumor recurrence and metastatic uveal melanoma.

Results: Of 3809 total entries, 3217 patients with ciliary body and choroidal (CBC) melanoma and 160 with iris melanoma were evaluated. There was a median follow-up of 3.7 years (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.5-3.8). One hundred fifty-two patients (4.7%) with CBC melanoma experienced local recurrence, with a cumulative incidence of 11%. Kaplan-Meier point estimates for remaining free of local recurrence were 99% (95% CI, 99-99) at 1 year, 93% (95% CI, 92-94) at 5 years, and 89% (95% CI, 86-91) at 10 years. Five- and 10-year metastasis-free Kaplan-Meier estimates for the recurrence-free group were 87% (95% CI, 86-89) and 82% (95% CI, 79-84), and those for the local recurrence group were 71% (95% CI, 62-78) and 62% (95% CI, 49-72). The difference between these 2 groups was statistically significant (P < 0.001). Furthermore, local tumor recurrence increased the risk of metastasis by a hazard ratio (HR) of 6.28 (95% CI, 4.4-8.9; P < 0.001). Local recurrence was detected up to 9.8 years after treatment. Extrascleral extension also was associated with local recurrence (HR, 3.2; 95% CI, 1.5-6.7; P = 0.003), but higher AJCC T-size category was not (P = 0.63). Five patients (n = 5/161 [3.1%]) with iris melanoma demonstrated local recurrence and 1 metastasized.

Conclusions: International multicenter data sharing was used to evaluate the effect of local tumor recurrence on metastatic rate. In that local tumor recurrence was associated with a significantly higher risk of systemic metastasis, effective initial treatment and long-term surveillance of treated uveal melanoma patients is necessary.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Melanoma / diagnosis
  • Melanoma / secondary*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / epidemiology*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Uveal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Uveal Neoplasms / secondary*

Supplementary concepts

  • Uveal melanoma