Primary photodynamic therapy with verteporfin for pigmented posterior pole cT1a choroidal melanoma: a 3-year retrospective analysis

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AimsTo investigate the outcomes of primary photodynamic therapy (PDT) for pigmented posterior pole cT1a choroidal melanoma.MethodsRetrospective interventional consecutive case series of 26 patients (26 eyes) with pigmented posterior pole cT1a choroidal melanoma, who were treated with 3 sessions of PDT and followed-up thereafter.ResultsIncluded were 11 males and 15 females that presented at a median age of 66 years (mean: 64) with transformed naevi (n=11) or suspicious lesions (n=15) with ≥3 risk factors for growth, with lipofuscin in all. In all cases, diagnosis was clinically based (no tissue biopsy). Tumour control was achieved in 16 (62%) patients in a median follow-up time of 29 months (mean: 27). Ten patients failed treatment by form of radial expansion, diagnosed in a median time of 13 months (mean: 12) from last treatment. By Kaplan-Meier analysis, success rate after 1, 2 and 3 years was 85%, 59% and 51%, respectively. On statistical analysis, number of suspicious features was found to be the only risk factor predicting failure (P=0.046). One patient developed macula-sparing branch retinal artery occlusion after treatment. Following PDT, subretinal fluid resolved in all cases and visual acuity significantly improved in all treatment-success cases (P=0.043). There were no cases of metastatic spread.ConclusionPrimary PDT resulted in tumour regression of small, pigmented choroidal melanoma in 62% after a mean of 27 months. Treatment was more effective in tumours with three or less risk factors for growth, and resulted with fluid elimination and significant improvement in vision in treatment-success cases.

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