Aims: To evaluate the post-hepatectomy survival of uveal melanoma patients with liver metastases.
Methods: Data were collected from the files in the Departments of Ophthalmology, General Surgery and Oncology, for uveal melanoma patients who were seen in the Ocular Oncology Clinic at the Hadassah Medical Center from 1988 to 2007. Statistical analysis was performed using JMP statistical software (SAS Institute, Cary, NC).
Results: Of the 558 patients, 74 (13.3%) developed metastases after a median of 35.0 months from the initial diagnosis. Thirty-five patients underwent hepatectomy. These patients had similar clinical characteristics as those who did not undergo hepatectomy. The median survival time from the detection of metastasis was 3.7-fold higher in the operated patients in comparison with the non-operated patients. Post-hepatectomy survival of patients who were found in surgery to have 1-5 metastatic nodules was 3.1 times longer than those with 6 or more lesions. The hepatectomies of 13 patients resulted in complete resection of the hepatic metastases with clean histologic margins (R0). These patients survived 1.9 times longer than those with residual disease (R1/R2).
Conclusion: It is possible to significantly extend the life expectancy of uveal melanoma patients who develop isolated hepatic metastases by complete resection of the lesions.