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Proton beam irradiation of uveal melanoma involving the iris, ciliary body and anterior choroid without surgical localisation (light field)
  1. Monica M Oxenreiter1,
  2. Anne M Lane1,
  3. Mary Beth Aronow1,
  4. Helen Shih2,
  5. Alexei V Trofimov2,
  6. Ivana K Kim1,
  7. Evangelos S Gragoudas1
  1. 1Retina Service, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Evangelos S Gragoudas, Retina Service, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, MA 02114, USA; evangelos_gragoudas{at}


Aims To assess treatment outcomes after proton beam irradiation (PBI) without surgical localisation of uveal melanomas involving the iris, ciliary body and anterior choroid.

Methods Retrospective chart review of 125 patients evaluated at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and treated with PBI using a light field set-up without localisation surgery between November 1975 and April 2017. The tumours were characterised as follows: iris (n=18, 14.4%), ciliary body (n=12, 9.6%), iridociliary (n=58, 46.4%), ciliochoroidal (n=24, 19.2%) and iridociliochoroidal (n=13, 10.4%). The tumours were measured by transillumination and ultrasonography before treatment. Tumours with posterior margin located less than two disc diameters from the ora serrata were treated using the light field technique. Patient outcomes after PBI were evaluated.

Results Most patients had good vision at the time of tumour diagnosis (69.6% had baseline visual acuity (VA) of ≥20/40). Median VA at last follow-up (median follow-up: 72.1 months) was 20/63. Recurrences occurred in 12 patients (9.6%) at a median time of 4.0 years post-treatment. Recurrences were treated by repeat PBI (n=5) or enucleation (n=7). Secondary enucleation was performed in 18 patients (14.4%), and 61.1% of these were due to complications. Neovascular glaucoma (NVG) developed in 21 patients (16.8%). Of seven patients who developed NVG after anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapies became available, five were treated with intravitreal Avastin injections (23.8% of patients with NVG). Of 69 patients diagnosed with cataract after treatment, 51 (73.9%) were characterised as radiation-related. Death from metastatic uveal melanoma occurred in 20.8% of the cohort, with a median follow-up of 10.1 years.

Conclusions Patients treated with PBI using a light field set-up technique experience good outcomes after irradiation. Eye preservation and retention of good VA are seen in the majority of cases, and tumour recurrence is low.

  • iris
  • ciliary body

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  • IKK and ESG contributed equally.

  • Funding This work was supported in part by a grant from the Grimshaw-Gudewicz Charitable Foundation and the Mass Eye and Ear Melanoma Research Fund.

  • Competing interests IKK: Novartis; Castle Biosciences; Biophytis; Kodak. ESG: Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine; Aura Pharmaceuticals; Valeant. HS: UpToDate (writer); Radiosurgery Society (Board of Directors); Cleveland Clinic (expert testimony); prIME Oncology (Educational Symposium Speaker).

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This retrospective chart review was performed with approval from the MEE Institutional Review Board.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request. Data are stored as deidentified information in the Uveal Melanoma Repository at Mass Eye and Ear. Any requests to access deidentified information would need to be approved by the Institutional Review Board that guides our research.

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