Relation between the microcirculation architecture and the aggressive behavior of ciliary body melanomas.
PURPOSE: To study the relation between vascular patterns and the biologically aggressive behavior of ciliary body melanomas. METHODS: The authors compared the frequency distribution of vascular patterns by location for 234 uveal melanomas (54 tumors involving the ciliary body, and 180 without ciliary body involvement). Stepwise Cox regressions (for the endpoint of time-to-death due to melanoma), performed separately for melanomas with and without ciliary body involvement, included the following variables: size, vascular patterns, cell type, mean of the largest nucleoli, mitoses, tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, age, and sex. A separate Cox regression procedure included the variable of tumor location. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were generated for time to melanoma death with ciliary body involvement and melanomas without ciliary body involvement for tumors containing or lacking vascular networks. RESULTS: These vascular patterns appear more often in the ciliary body than in the choroid: parallel vessels (P = 0.022), arcs (P = 0.003), and parallel with cross-linking, arcs with branching, and loops and networks (all P = 0.0001). Stepwise regression for tumors confined to the choroid indicated that the presence of networks was the most significant variable (P = 0.0001); stepwise regression for tumors with ciliary body involvement suggested that only one variable, networks, was significant (P = 0.0066). Kaplan-Meier survival estimates indicated that the survival of patients with tumors containing networks in the ciliary body was comparable to those containing networks in the choroid. CONCLUSION: Regardless of location, ciliary body or choroid, the presence of vascular networks shortens survival. The tumor location does not enter a stepwise Cox regression model when vascular patterns are included as variables. Therefore, the aggressive behavior of ciliary body melanomas appears to be related to the tendency for vascular networks to develop in this location.
Rummelt, V; Folberg, R; Woolson, RF; Hwang, T; Pe'er, J
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