Ocular Melanoma – Primary Tumor Treatment

Most uveal melanomas are treated with some form of radiotherapy, which is usually administered with a radioactive implant, known as a plaque, or with a proton beam. A few can be surgically removed, either whole or in fragments. Some very small melanomas are treated with laser. Removal of the eye (enucleation) s performed only when such treatments are unlikely to conserve a comfortable and seeing eye. Conjunctival melanomas are usually treated by surgical removal, which in some centers is followed by radiotherapy to prevent the tumor from coming back. Flat melanomas confined to the conjunctival surface are often treated with chemotherapy drops. Very rarely, advanced conjunctival melanomas require removal of the eye and surrounding tissues (exenteration). The chances of saving the eye and vision vary greatly, depending on the size, location and extent of the tumor. Side effects, such as fluid leakage from an irradiated tumor, may require repeated treatment. Regular examinations are necessary to detect and treat any recurrent tumor without delay.

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