The Clinical Feature and Treatment Outcome of Ocular Melanoma: A 34-Year Experience in a Tertiary Referral Center

Cancers (Basel). 2021 Nov 25;13(23):5926. doi: 10.3390/cancers13235926.


Malignant melanoma can arise from melanocytes in various structures of the eye, orbit, and ocular adnexa. We reviewed the clinical features and long-term results of all subjects with histologically proved melanoma originating from any of the ocular and periocular structures in a tertiary referral center. Overall, 88 patients including 47 men were recruited. The tumor was primarily located in the uvea, followed by the conjunctiva, orbit, eyelid, and lacrimal sac. Patients with uveal melanoma were diagnosed at a relatively younger age (47.0 years), while those with orbital and eyelid melanomas were older at presentation (79.5 years and 78.5 years, respectively). The overall local recurrence rate was 9% at a median follow-up of 41.0 months, among which orbital and eyelid melanomas recurred most commonly. The overall mortality rate was 41% in a median duration of 27.2 months (IQR, 13-58 months) from diagnosis, with the highest for lacrimal sac melanoma, followed by melanoma of the orbit, uveal, conjunctiva, and eyelid. Despite prompt local control, the risk for metastasis and mortality was high. Therefore, efficient modalities for early diagnosis and treatment of ocular melanoma are necessary.

Keywords: conjunctival melanoma; eyelid melanoma; ocular melanoma; orbital melanoma; uveal melanoma.