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February 1983

Failure of Choroidal Melanoma to Respond to Helium Ion Therapy

Author Affiliations

From the Ocular Oncology Unit, Department of Ophthalmology and Francis I. Proctor Foundation, University of California, San Francisco (Drs Char and Crawford), and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley (Drs Castro and Woodruff).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1983;101(2):236-241. doi:10.1001/archopht.1983.01040010238011

• Helium ion irradiation is a promising alternative therapy for choroidal melanoma. In short-term follow-up (< 5 years), more than 90% (18/19) of treated patients demonstrated tumor regression. We had to enucleate five eyes after helium ion therapy either because of continued tumor growth (four patients) or other complications (one patient). Two melanomas continued to grow and seemed to be radioresistant. In two other tumors it retrospectively seemed that the entire lesion was not inside the radiation field. In one patient total retinal detachment and glaucoma developed; enucleation was performed because of a painful eye. Metastatic disease developed in no patients. The treatment failures emphasize that there are a number of unresolved issues regarding the use of charged-particle irradiation in the treatment of melanoma. Further studies must be performed to answer these questions and better delineate the use of these newer forms of therapy.