What is included in the long-term monitoring of ciliary body melanoma?

Updated: Mar 03, 2020
  • Author: Enrique Garcia-Valenzuela, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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Irrespective of the treatment modality chosen, patients with ciliary body melanomas need to be monitored carefully for many years. This is particularly true for patients with small ciliary body tumors when the diagnosis is not clearly established. Close observation and measurement of the tumor dimensions with any of the diagnostic tools mentioned earlier is critical.

Repeat examinations are usually performed about every 3 months initially, and if no changes are seen, follow-up care is completed every 6 months. If growth of the lesion is detected, consider further treatment.

Ciliary body melanomas may show size regression starting several months after being treated with external beam irradiation or plaque brachytherapy. The goal of successful treatment is not necessarily reduction in size but long-term arrest of the tumor's growth.

Because of the possibility of intraocular or extraocular tumor recurrence, repeat examinations and imaging tests are performed after all treatment modalities.

Follow-up care in patients with treated ciliary body melanomas should include thorough physical examinations, liver function tests, and imaging of the lungs, repeated about every 6-12 months. Early detection of distant metastases may affect management and survival.

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