To determine the effectiveness of plaque radiation therapy for anterior uveal melanomas and to evaluate the risk and frequency of complications at different time intervals after the treatment.
During 2010-2013 a total of 30 patients (10 male, 20 female) aged 11-73 (50 years on the average) with iris or iridociliary melanomas were treated with Ru-106 and Sr-90 ophthalmic plaques. In 8 patients the brachytherapy was preceded by local tumor excision. Morphological diagnosis was verified in 10 patients (8 iridectomies, 2 enucleations), of them 8 cases turned out to be spindle cell melanomas and the other 2--mixed cell melanomas. Follow-up period ranged from 1 to 54 months with the median of 13,5 months.
Tumor regression was achieved in all cases. Enucleation had to be performed in 2 patients due to cornea and sclera necrosis. In the early post-brachytherapy period (up to 1 month) the most frequent radiation-related complications were keratopathy and uveitis (8 and 6 patients correspondingly). In patients observed for up to 3 months (28 patients) these were keratopathy and cataract (8 and 5 patients correspondingly). In the long-term (over 6 months) cataract predominated (17 patients). At the end of the study all patients were alive. Metastatic disease was diagnosed in one patient 30 months after the treatment.
The results of the present clinical study confirm the effectiveness of brachytherapy for iris and iridociliary melanomas, which implies that tumor is well locally controlled and radiation-related complications are moderate and curable. This method of local tumor destruction can be another alternative to enucleation in cases when local tumor excision cannot be performed.