Surveillance options for patients with uveal melanoma following definitive management

Jasmine H. Francis, Sapna P. Patel, Dan S. Gombos, Richard D. Carvajal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Even though less than 1% of uveal melanoma patients are found to have radiographic or clinical evidence of distant disease at the time of treatment for their intraocular disease, they carry a lifetime risk of disease recurrence, with approximately 50% of patients ultimately developing fatal metastases. Despite this significant risk, there is no consensus within the ophthalmologic or oncologic community regarding the role of surveillance for detection of metastatic disease in these patients. The lack of consensus is due to the notable absence of clear data regarding the best radiologic or serum surveillance modalities, the optimal frequency of testing, or the ideal length of follow-up. Given the ability to assess prognosis by cytogenetics, gene expression profiling, or other methods, questions remain about whether surveillance strategies should be tailored by level of risk. Importantly, no survival benefit from the early detection of asymptomatic disease in uveal melanoma has been documented, resulting in controversy over the value of routine surveillance and advocacy from some clinicians to forego surveillance altogether. However, there are several factors supporting surveillance: the patient's enhanced emotional well-being, the potential to identify oligometastatic disease amenable to surgery or other local therapies, decreased morbidity/complications from advanced disease, and identification of patients eligible for clinical trials that assess novel therapies for advanced uveal melanoma. The selection of surveillance modality used varies according to local expertise and resources and may include serum markers (liver function tests and others) and/or imaging (chest x-ray, abdominal ultrasound, computed tomography, positron emission tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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