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November 1996

Plaque Radiotherapy for Juxtapapillary Choroidal MelanomaVisual Acuity and Survival Outcome

Arch Ophthalmol. 1996;114(11):1357-1365. doi:10.1001/archopht.1996.01100140557006

Objectives:  To assess the effect of plaque radiotherapy on the visual acuity of patients with juxtapapillary choroidal melanoma and to determine the clinical predictive factors for radiation retinopathy, radiation papillopathy, local tumor recurrence, and distant metastasis.

Design:  A retrospective review of the medical records of 93 patients with juxtapapillary choroidal melanoma who were treated initially with plaque radiotherapy.

Results:  During a mean follow-up of 78 months, radiation retinopathy developed in 81 patients (87%) and radiation papillopathy developed in 48 patients (52%) after a mean interval of 21 and 27 months, respectively. The univariate variables that were significant predictors of radiation retinopathy were history of diabetes mellitus (P=.05) and use of a notched radioactive plaque (P=.04). The factors predictive of radiation papillopathy were age (>45 years; P=.01), history of diabetes mellitus (P=.05), mushroom-shaped tumor configuration (P=.006), and nasal location of the tumor (P=.04). By using Kaplan-Meier survival curves, we found that the proportion of the 93 patients with radiation retinopathy was 87 (94%) at 5 years and with radiation papillopathy was 53 (57%) at 5 years. By using life-table analysis, we found that the proportion of the 93 patients who experienced a decrement of at least 3 lines of visual acuity was 67 (72%) by 50 to 60 months. Local tumor recurrence was documented in 14 patients (15%) after a mean interval of 41 months. The age of the patient (<35 years; P=.02) and the superior (P=.004) and inferior (P=.05) locations of the tumor were predictive of local tumor recurrence. Distant metastasis developed in 11 patients (12%) after a mean interval of 44 months. The factors predictive of distant metastasis were a tumor with a basal diameter larger than 6.0 mm (P=.05), the superior location of the tumor (P=.01), and local tumor recurrence (P<.001).

Conclusion:  Based on these observations, plaque radiotherapy remains a potential option vs enucleation for the management of juxtapapillary choroidal melanoma.