Serial ultrasonic measurements of 82 uveal melanomas treated with brachytherapy plaques (cobalt-60 and iodine-125) and followed up for up to 141 months revealed that no two patients had identical patterns of change. The mean absolute change in tumour height after treatment was 1.8 mm at six months, 5.6 mm at 48 months for large tumours, and 0.9 and 1.9 mm for medium sized tumours. Eighty of the 82 patients fell into one of three patterns of response: 57 patients had a decrease in height after treatment (type D), 13 patients had the same height after treatment (type S), and 10 patients had a progressive increase in height (type I). Life table comparison showed no correlation between survival and location of tumour, sex of patient, size of tumour when treated, or laterality. There was a slight correlation between age and survival. Patients older than 60 died more frequently from metastatic melanoma than those under 60 (p = 0.06). Life table analysis showed a significant correlation between tumour regression type and survival. At 48 months the best cumulative probability of survival was in patients with type D (88% alive) compared with those of type I (34% alive, p = 0.0004).
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