Survival of patients with recurrent uveal melanoma after treatment with radiation therapy

Br J Ophthalmol. 2024 May 21;108(5):729-734. doi: 10.1136/bjo-2022-323133.


Background/aims: We evaluated a large cohort of patients treated for local recurrence of choroidal or ciliary body melanomas at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear (MEE) to quantify the risk of melanoma-related mortality associated with recurrence, independent of other risk factors.

Methods: Patients treated with radiation therapy from 1982 to 2017 were identified through the Uveal Melanoma Registry at MEE. Competing risks regression was performed to investigate the risk of melanoma-related mortality associated with recurrence, treating recurrence as a time-varying covariate.

Results: Of 4196 patients treated, 4043 patients remained recurrence-free and 153 patients experienced a recurrence (median follow-up: 9.9 years). Median time from initial treatment to recurrence was 30.5 months (range: 2.0-238.7). Seventy-nine (69.9%) patients with recurrences and 826 (37.9%) patients in the recurrence-free group died of metastatic uveal melanoma (p<0.001). Median time from initial treatment to melanoma-related death was 4.9 years (1.0-31.8) for patients who developed recurrences and 4.3 years (0.59-33.8) for patients who did not (p=0.17). Five-year and 10-year probabilities of melanoma-related mortality were 9.5% and 15.0%, respectively, in patients without local recurrences compared with 32.0% and 46.6% in patients with recurrences (p<0.001).

Conclusion: These data confirm previous reports that local recurrence is associated with an increased risk of dying of melanoma and quantify the risk that can be attributed to local recurrence independent of other risk factors. This group of patients should be strongly considered for adjuvant therapies when available.

Keywords: Choroid; Neoplasia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma* / mortality
  • Melanoma* / radiotherapy
  • Melanoma* / secondary
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local* / radiotherapy
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Uveal Neoplasms* / mortality
  • Uveal Neoplasms* / radiotherapy
  • Young Adult

Supplementary concepts

  • Uveal melanoma