Ciliary body and choroidal melanomas treated by proton beam irradiation. Histopathologic study of eyes

Arch Ophthalmol. 1983 Sep;101(9):1402-8. doi: 10.1001/archopht.1983.01040020404014.


Proton beam irradiation resulted in clinical and/or histopathological regression of large ciliary body and choroidal melanomas in three eyes. Enucleations were performed 6 1/2 weeks, five months, and 11 months after irradiation for angle-closure glaucoma from total retinal detachment, increase in retinal detachment, and neovascular glaucoma, respectively. A direct relationship was found between the length of the interval from irradiation to enucleation and the degree of histologic changes. Vascular changes in the tumors included endothelial cell swelling and decreased lumen size, basement membrane thickening, collapse of sinusoidal vessels, and thrombosis of vessels. Although apparently unaltered tumor cells remained, degenerative changes occurred in some melanoma cells, including lipid vacuoles in cytoplasm, pyknotic nuclei, and balloon cell formation. Patchy areas of necrosis and proteinaceous exudate were present. Pigment-laden macrophages were found near tumor vessels and all had a substantial chronic inflammatory infiltrate. The effect of proton beam irradiation on tumor vessels probably plays an important role in uveal melanoma regression.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Choroid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Choroid Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Ciliary Body* / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Melanoma / radiotherapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Protons
  • Uveal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uveal Neoplasms / radiotherapy*


  • Protons