Purpose: To evaluate the effect of palladium 103(103Pd) ophthalmic plaque brachytherapy on patients with uveal melanoma.
Background: Radioactive 103Pd seeds have become available for plaque brachytherapy, and computer-aided simulations have compared the intraocular dose distribution of 103Pd versus iodine 125 (125I) plaques in patients with uveal melanoma. The use of the lower-energy radionuclide 103Pd increased the radiation to the tumors and decreases irradiation of most normal ocular structures.
Methods: The authors have begun a phase 1 clinical trial evaluating the effect of 103Pd ophthalmic plaque radiotherapy on intraocular tumors. Uveal melanoma was diagnosed, and the patients were found to be negative for metastatic disease. All patients were given one 103Pd radioactive plaque treatment, and six patients also were given adjuvant microwave hyperthermia.
Results: Palladium 103 ophthalmic plaque radiotherapy was used to treat 23 patients with uveal melanoma. Patients were followed for up to 27 months (mean, 13.5 months). One eye was enucleated for progressive tumor enlargement (4 months after treatment). One patient died (of metastatic melanoma). Eight patients have lost greater than two lines of visual acuity, one has gained more than two lines. Fifteen patients (65%) were within two lines or had better than their preoperative visual acuity. Relating to the effect of treatment on visual acuity, 15 (65%) tumors were located equal to or less than 2 mm from the fovea.
Conclusion: Palladium 103 ophthalmic plaque radiotherapy was noted to control the growth of uveal melanomas. Compared with other forms of plaque radiotherapy at this follow-up interval, the authors have noted no new complications, no difference in local control, and/or changes in tumor response to treatment. More long-term follow-up will be required to demonstrate differences between 125I and 103Pd ophthalmic plaque brachytherapy.