AIM To describe the inflammatory reaction that can occur following proton beam irradiation of uveal melanomas based on a large series of patients and to try to determine the risk factors for this reaction.
METHODS Data from a cohort of patients with uveal melanoma treated by proton beam irradiation between 1991 and 1994 were analysed. The presence of inflammation was recorded and evaluated. Kaplan-Meier estimates and statistical analysis of general and tumour related risk factors were performed.
RESULTS 28% of patients treated during this period presented with ocular inflammation (median follow up 62 months). Risks factors were essentially tumour related and were correlated with larger lesions (height > 5 mm, diameter > 12 mm, volume > 0.4 cm3). Multivariate analysis identified initial tumour height and irradiation of a large volume of the eye as the two most important risk factors. Ocular inflammation usually consisted of mild anterior uveitis, resolving rapidly after topical steroids and cycloplegics. The incidence of inflammation after proton beam irradiation of melanomas seems higher than previously reported and is related to larger lesions. Evidence of inflammation associated with uveal melanoma has been described and seems to be associated with tumour necrosis (spontaneous or after irradiation). The appearance of transient inflammation during the follow up of these patients may be related to the release of inflammatory cytokines during tumour necrosis.
CONCLUSION Inflammation following proton beam irradiation is not unusual. It is correlated with larger initial tumours and may be related to tumour necrosis.
- intraocular inflammation
- proton beam irradiation
- uveal melanoma
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