Pattern of Local Recurrence After I-125 Episcleral Brachytherapy for Uveal Melanoma in a Spanish Referral Ocular Oncology Unit


      To describe the time, frequency, and clinical characteristics of treatment failure after I-125 brachytherapy in patients with uveal melanoma treated and followed in a Spanish referral ocular oncology unit.


      Prospective, consecutive, interventional case series.


      Patients diagnosed with uveal melanoma from 1995 to 2016 and treated with episcleral brachytherapy were included. Demographic data collection, ophthalmic evaluation, ultrasound scan, and systemic studies were performed at baseline, every 6 months thereafter for 5 years, and subsequently at annual intervals. Recurrence was defined as presence of tumor growth after treatment. Baseline analysis was performed by descriptive methods and survival by Kaplan-Meier curves.


      From 732 patients diagnosed with uveal melanoma, 311 were treated with brachytherapy. In the follow-up (mean 79 months, standard deviation = 55), 16 local tumor recurrences (5.1%) were detected. All relapsing patients had choroidal tumors and 15 presented with visual symptoms. All patients were treated with I-125 brachytherapy, and 2 received associated transpupillary thermotherapy. All the eyes were enucleated after recurrence. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a mean time of recurrence of 3.7 years (standard deviation = 2.94 years, ranging from 1 to 12 years). Three patients had metastasis in the follow-up. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed worse survival for patients with recurrence.


      Local treatment failure was a relatively infrequent event after I-125 brachytherapy in our series. Recurrences appear not only early but also late in the follow-up. They do not have a distinctive clinical pattern and are associated with poorer survival.
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