The optimum radiation therapy for uveal melanoma is uncertain. Both helium ion irradiation and 125I brachytherapy have been used to treat this neoplasm. This investigation analyzed the control and complication rates of uveal melanomas treated with helium ions of 125I plaques. In both a retrospective and a prospective dynamically balanced study, the control rates appeared to be similar. There were more posterior segment complications after 125I plaques and more anterior segment complications, including neovascular glaucoma, after helium ion irradiation. The follow-up period is too short to draw definitive conclusions on the radiation complications. Overall, approximately 89% of eyes were retained and less than 4% of treated eyes were removed because of failure to control the tumor.