Importance: There has been speculation on the pathogenesis of unilateral multifocal uveal melanoma, but there remains no convincing explanation. Genetic analysis suggests that unilateral multifocal uveal melanoma may represent intraocular metastasis with increased risk of systemic metastasis. Objective: To evaluate the pathogenesis of unilateral multifocal uveal melanoma. Design, Setting, and Participants: This clinical case series was conducted in tertiary academic ocular oncology referral centers and included patients with unilateral multifocal uveal melanoma. Main Outcomes and Measures: Gene expression and mutation profiling of tumor samples. Results: Four patients (all male; age range, 54-77 years) who were diagnosed with uveal melanoma were treated with plaque brachytherapy, and subsequently developed a second discrete uveal melanoma in the same eye were included. None demonstrated ocular or oculodermal melanocytosis. All 8 tumors available for analysis exhibited class 2 gene expression profiles. In all 4 cases, the initial and subsequent tumors were available for targeted DNA sequencing and identical driver mutations were present in both tumors. Data were collected from September 2015 to August 2018. Conclusions and Relevance: Unilateral multifocal uveal melanoma in the absence of ocular melanocytosis appears to occur preferentially in tumors with the class 2 gene expression profile and a BRCA1-associated protein 1 gene (BAP1) mutation. The presence of identical BAP1 mutations in multiple tumors in the same eye in the absence of a germline BAP1 mutation suggests intraocular metastasis rather than independent primary tumors. These findings indicate that the first site of metastasis can be within the eye itself and suggest that patients with unilateral multifocal uveal melanoma may be at increased risk of systemic metastasis.
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