Low-dose brachytherapy strategies to treat uveal melanoma: is less more?
The Collaborative Ocular Melanoma Study (COMS) has established equivalency of globe salvaging brachytherapy compared with enucleation in terms of survival for medium-sized choroidal melanoma. The radiation dose protocol followed by the COMS was 85 Gray to a prescription point of the tumor apex or 5 mm inner sclera; whichever was greater. While the COMS realized appropriate local and distant tumor control rates, ocular morbidity due to radiation complications remains a significant clinical challenge. Recent studies challenge the COMS radiation dose paradigm by demonstrating similar tumor control by utilizing lower radiation doses that are associated with reduced radiation toxicity. Improved operative techniques including intraoperative ultrasound can aid to obtain adequate radiation delivery to the tumor by ensuring optimal plaque position. Adjuvant transpupillary thermotherapy, intravitreal anti-VEGF and posterior sub-Tenon steroids may further enhance outcome by providing additional tumor control and/or facilitating visual recovery.