Cancers of the eye

Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2018 Dec;37(4):677-690. doi: 10.1007/s10555-018-9762-9.


Ocular cancers are unique among the diseases of the eye, threatening both vision and life. In most cases, the diagnosis can be made utilizing a careful clinical history and specialized ocular examination. Eye cancer diagnosis relies heavily on imaging techniques such as high-frequency ultrasound, fluorescein angiography, anterior and posterior segment optical coherence tomography, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Once the diagnosis is established, treatment decisions depend on the tumor's location, size, local extension, patterns of growth, and secondary complications. Treatment options include observation, local resection, chemotherapy (topical, intravenous, intra-arterial, or intravitreal), and radiation (ophthalmic plaque or external beam). Enucleation or exenteration is only employed if these eye- and vision-sparing treatments are not possible. The core of this comprehensive review is a consecutive series of the most common ocular tumor of each structure of the eye, anterior to posterior, including basal cell carcinoma of the eyelid, squamous conjunctival neoplasia, choroidal melanoma, retinoblastoma, ocular adnexal lymphoma, and metastatic orbital tumors.

Keywords: Basal cell carcinoma; Choroidal melanoma; Metastasis; Ocular adnexal lymphoma; Ocular surface squamous neoplasia; Retinoblastoma.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Eye Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Eye Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Eye Neoplasms / pathology
  • Eye Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Humans