Purpose: To compare visual outcomes and local tumor control between two groups of patients with amelanotic choroidal melanoma treated with brachytherapy alone, or neoadjuvant photodynamic therapy before brachytherapy. Methods: Patients diagnosed with amelanotic choroidal melanoma were recruited for the study and divided into two groups: brachytherapy alone (Group A) and photodynamic therapy preceding brachytherapy (Group B). Patients of both groups were selected to be comparable. Results: Twenty-six patients with amelanotic choroidal melanoma were enrolled in the study. Within Group B, 1 month after photodynamic therapy, ultrasonography showed reduction of tumor height in 11 patients (73.4%). The mean doses of irradiation to macula and optic nerve, at baseline were 74.37 and 52.07 Gy, whereas after photodynamic therapy there was a decrease of 17.26% (P 0.008) and 21.22% (P 0.025), respectively. In terms of visual acuity, a mean decrease of 14 ETDRS letters and 5 ETDRS letters was observed at 24 months follow-up, in Groups A and B, respectively (P 0.001). Conclusion: Photodynamic therapy as neoadjuvant therapy before brachytherapy reduces tumor thickness in 73.4% of cases. As a result, a decrease of radiation toxic effects on visual function could be obtained, without compromising disease control.
- amelanotic uveal melanoma
- episcleral plaque brachytherapy
- photodynamic therapy