Eye Cancer Treatments

Depending on your specific condition, your treatment for eye cancer may include a single treatment or a combination of therapies such as:

  • Chemotherapy: This is the use of specific medicines to treat cancer. Chemotherapy types are:
    •  Intraocular: Medicine is injected directly into the eye. This allows higher doses without affecting the rest of the body.
    •  Systemic: Chemotherapy medicine is injected into a vein or taken as a pill. It spreads throughout the body. Systemic chemotherapy treats cancer that may have spread to other parts of the body.
  • Laser therapy: Lasers (highly-focused light beams) can destroy cancer cells. Laser therapy may be used to treat intraocular melanoma, but not intraocular lymphoma.
  • Proton therapy: A type of radiation therapy, proton therapy uses protons (heavy, positively-charged atomic particles) instead of the standard X-rays, which results in fewer negative side effects. Patients treated with protons usually retain useful vision in the treated eye.1
  • Radiation therapy: High-energy X-rays kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy may be delivered by external beam or in the form of small pellet injected directly into the affected area. This type is called brachytherapy.
  • Surgery: Used less often as radiation therapy use has grown, surgery treats some intraocular melanomas but not intraocular lymphoma. Types of surgery include:
    •  Iridectomy: A procedure to remove of part of the iris.
    •  Iridocyclectomy: This procedure removes of part of the iris and ciliary body.
    •  Sclerouvectomy/endoresection: This procedure removes the choroidal tumor while keeping the eye.
    •  Enucleation: This procedure removes the entire eye.
  • Targeted therapy: This treatment uses special medicines that attack specific parts of the cancer cells to kill them.


Eye cancer treatments are provided by a multidisciplinary team that includes ocular oncologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, and specially trained nurses and medical professionals.

Legal Information
Gragoudas ES, Li W, Goitein M, Lane AM, Munzenrider JE, Egan KM. Evidence-based estimates of outcome in patients irradiated for intraocular melanoma. Arch Ophthalmol. 2002;120(12):1665-1671.