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January 1980

Choroidal MelanomaEnucleation or Observation? A New Approach

Author Affiliations

From the Institute of Pathology (Department of Ophthalmic Pathology), Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (Dr Manschot), and the Academic Hospital, Department of Radiotherapy, Utrecht, the Netherlands (Prof Dr van Peperzeel).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1980;98(1):71-77. doi:10.1001/archopht.1980.01020030073002

• Application of the knowledge of growth rate of malignant neoplasms on choroidal melanomas shows that (1) fatalities within two years after enucleation only exceptionally can be due to dissemination of tumor cells during enucleation because the growth rate of uveal melanomas generally is far too low; (2) the apparent relationship between enucleation and death by metastasis actually is a relationship in time between diagnosis of the primary tumor and death by metastasis; (3) simultaneous diagnosis of the primary tumor and its metastases rarely is possible; (4) long intervals between enucleation and death by metastasis are explained by a low growth rate of metastases. Early enucleation, especially of small melanomas, is obligatory, because it prevents (further) dissemination of tumor cells. Preoperative local radiotherapy of two doses of 400 rads each will devitalize about 90% of the primary cells and largely will prevent possible iatrogenic dissemination.

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