Patients Presenting with Stage IV Metastatic Uveal Melanoma Examined in New ECF Supported Study

Uveal melanoma is classified as Stage IV when there are metastasis. A multicenter, international collaborative registry study was recently published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology. Therein, eye cancer professionals examined the ocular and systemic findings of patients presenting with Stage IV ocular melanoma in order to better understand this group of patients.

Most patients do not present with Stage IV or clinically detectable metastatic uveal melanoma. Therefore, ten ocular oncology centers from eight different countries came together to conduct a retrospective study. They created an internet-based registry to anonymously collect patient data from 3866 cases. Therein, they found a subgroup of 69 patients whose melanomas had metastasized, primarily detected by radiographic imaging. Aspects of each patients' condition was assessed, such as the primary tumor location, T category classification and how the metastases were discovered.

In examining these factors, it was found that Stage IV patients were more likely to have ciliary body origin or involvement, larger tumor thickness, greater basal diameters and extrascleral extension. The study found that these patients had both liver and extrahepatic sites of metastasis best revealed by total body positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT). It suggested the liver-only metastatic surveys risk missing some patients who have metastasis prior to ocular treatment.

This study was supported by a grant from the Myrna and John Daniels Foundation given in support of IT services at Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and a Fellowship Grant from The Eye Cancer Foundation to Dr. Gaurav Garg, the first author. Our ECF Executive Director, Dr. Paul T. Finger, acted as the corresponding author. We are proud of their efforts in advancing eye cancer knowledge through research on a global scale.

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