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March 2010

A Transformation in Ocular OncologyFrom Megacenter to Multicenter

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Ocular Oncology Service, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Barnes Retina Institute, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri.

Arch Ophthalmol. 2010;128(3):367-368. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2010.2

Until the first half of the 20th century, few ophthalmologists in the United States specialized in the field of ocular oncology. One important exception was Algernon Reese, MD, who dramatically advanced the care of patients with eye tumor through his specialized practice and disseminated new knowledge through his landmark textbook. Through such efforts, the value of establishing referral centers for rare eye tumors was convincingly demonstrated. In the second half of the 20th century, a handful of other centers emerged that dominated the clinical, academic, and intellectual direction of the field for a generation. The literature published during this era, contributed largely by these few “megacenters,” led to significant improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular tumors. However, most of this literature consisted of case reports, small case series, and descriptive single-center retrospective studies. Eventually the new knowledge that could be gained from this type of research began to plateau.

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