Patterns of care and follow-up care of patients with uveal melanoma in German-speaking countries: a multinational survey of the German Dermatologic Cooperative Oncology Group (DeCOG)

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2021 Jun;147(6):1763-1771. doi: 10.1007/s00432-020-03450-0. Epub 2020 Nov 21.


Purpose: Uveal melanoma (UM) is an orphan cancer of high unmet medical need. Current patterns of care and surveillance remain unclear as they are situated in an interdisciplinary setting.

Methods: A questionnaire addressing the patterns of care and surveillance in the management of patients with uveal melanoma was distributed to 70 skin cancer centers in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Frequency distributions of responses for each item of the questionnaire were calculated.

Results: 44 of 70 (62.9%) skin cancer centers completed the questionnaire. Thirty-nine hospitals were located in Germany (88.6%), three in Switzerland (6.8%) and two in Austria (4.5%). The majority (68.2%) represented university hospitals. Most patients with metastatic disease were treated in certified skin cancer centers (70.7%, 29/41). Besides, the majority of patients with UM were referred to the respective skin cancer center by ophthalmologists (87.2%, 34/39). Treatment and organization of follow-up of patients varied across the different centers. 35.1% (14/37) of the centers stated to not perform any screening measures.

Conclusion: Treatment patterns of patients with uveal melanoma in Germany, Austria and Switzerland remain extremely heterogeneous. A guideline for the treatment and surveillance is urgently needed.

Keywords: Background; Cross-sectional study; Follow-up; Ocular melanoma; Patterns of care; Surveillance; Treatment patterns; Uveal melanoma.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aftercare* / methods
  • Aftercare* / statistics & numerical data
  • Austria / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Melanoma / epidemiology
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanoma / therapy*
  • Monitoring, Physiologic* / methods
  • Monitoring, Physiologic* / statistics & numerical data
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance / methods
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Referral and Consultation / standards
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Uveal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Uveal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uveal Neoplasms / therapy*

Supplementary concepts

  • Uveal melanoma