To report eye salvaging rate, visual acuity (VA), local recurrences, complications and the potential benefit of adjuvant brachytherapy after endoresection of large uveal melanomas.Methods
200 patients were included in this retrospective study. They were treated from March 1999 to December 2010 with preoperative stereotactic gamma knife radiosurgery followed by endoresection and adjuvant brachytherapy in most cases.Results
A total of 200 patients were included in this study (113 male, 87 female). Mean tumour height was 9.4 mm and the largest basal diameter ranged from 6.3 to 20 mm. The median follow-up time was 32.3 months. In 13.4% the eye was retained with a VA of 20/50 or better, in 33.6% VA was ranging from 20/400 to 20/50 and 53% had a VA of less than 20/400. In almost 90% of the cases the eye was preserved at the final visit. In 15.5% additional major surgery was required. In terms of survival 15.5% of our patients developed liver metastases during follow-up and died. Local tumour recurrence was observed in 10 out of 200 patients (5%) and was mainly treated with enucleation. The use of an adjuvant ruthenium-106 plaque did not lower the recurrence or enucleation rate significantly.Conclusions
Eyes with a large uveal melanoma can be preserved by stereotactic radiotherapy followed by endoresection with the chance to obtain useful vision in approximately half of the cases. Adjuvant brachytherapy has no beneficial effect except a reduction of the frequency for major revision surgery.