Current trends in the treatment of ocular melanoma by radiotherapy


  • This lecture was presented at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists Annual Meeting, Adelaide, SA, October 2001.

Mr John L Hungerford, Department of Ophthalmology, Saint Bartholomew's Hospital, West Smithfield, London EC1A 7BE, UK. Email:


The Collaborative Ocular Melanoma Study (COMS) has recently confirmed once and for all that it is safe to attempt to preserve an eye with a posterior uveal melanoma by demonstrating no survival advantage of enucleation over plaque radiotherapy. While COMS has been under way, we have set out in London to define the selection criteria for conservative therapy versus enucleation for the various categories of melanoma in terms of size, location within the eye, and presence or absence of retinal detachment. The evolution of this approach has culminated in an overall ocular survival rate of 94% in 597 patients following radiation therapy combined with a mean loss of visual acuity of only 2.4 Snellen lines in the eyes preserved.