Treatments

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.

Treatments

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

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1
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.