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Effect of plaque brachytherapy dose and dose rate on risk for disease-related mortality in 1238 patients with choroidal melanoma


Background Episcleral brachytherapy is the most common treatment for medium-sized choroidal melanomas. Although controversial, inadequate brachytherapy dose and dose rates have at least a hypothetical implication on patient survival.

Methods All patients who received ruthenium-106 or iodine-125 brachytherapy for choroidal melanoma at St. Erik Eye Hospital 1996 to 2016 were included (n=1238). Cox regression hazard ratios for melanoma-related mortality across deciles, quartiles and individual integers of apex radiation doses (Gy) and dose rates (Gy/hour) were calculated, adjusted for tumour size and location.

Results The average radiation dose at the tumour apex ranged from 73.0 Gy in the first decile to 108.6 Gy in the tenth. Decreasing apex dose by 1 Gy increments or by decile or quartile group was not associated with melanoma-related mortality (p>0.2) The average radiation dose rate at the tumour apex ranged from 0.5 Gy/hour in the first decile to 2.8 Gy/hour in the tenth. Similarly, decreasing apex dose rate by 1 Gy/hour increments or by decile or quartile groups was not associated with melanoma-related mortality (p>0.5).

Conclusion There are no increased hazards for choroidal melanoma-related mortality after brachytherapy with decreasing doses between 108.6 and 73.0 Gy, or with decreasing dose rates between 2.8 and 0.5 Gy/hour.

  • pathology
  • choroid

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