Intravitreal bevacizumab combined with plaque brachytherapy reduces melanoma tumor volume and enhances resolution of exudative detachment

Samuel K. Houston, Nisha V. Shah, Christina Decatur, Marcela Lonngi, William Feuer, Arnold M. Markoe, Timothy G. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate intravitreal bevacizumab as an adjuvant treatment to plaque brachytherapy in the treatment of choroidal melanoma. Methods: This was a retrospective, consecutive study of 124 patients treated from 2007 to 2009 for choroidal melanoma with plaque brachytherapy. Patients were treated with I-125 plaque brachytherapy with 2 mm margins and 85 Gy to the tumor apex. Consecutive patients were injected intravitreally with 2.5 mg/0.1 mL bevacizumab at a site away from the primary tumor and immediately following plaque removal. Choroidal melanomas were observed using indirect ophthalmoscopy, wide-angle photography, and ultrasound. The main outcome measures were tumor volume, resolution of exudative retinal detachment, and visual acuity. Results: One hundred and twenty-four patients met our inclusion criteria and were included in the analysis. The mean patient age was 65.7 years, and the mean apical tumor height was 4.0 ± 2.7 mm and basal diameter was 12.7 ± 3.0 mm. Mean follow-up was 24 months. Prior to treatment, 100% of tumors had exudative retinal detachment, and pretreatment visual acuity was 20/55 (median 20/40). Tumor control was 100%, metastasis was 0% at last follow-up, and 89.8% had complete resolution of exudative retinal detachment, with a mean time to resolution of 3.36 months. At one month, 43% had complete resolution of exudative retinal detachment, which increased to 73% at 4 months. Visual acuity was 20/62 (median 20/40) at 4 months, with stabilization to 20/57 (median 20/40) at 8 months, 20/56 (median 20/30) at 12 months, and 20/68 (median 20/50) at 24 months. Tumor volume following combined therapy was shown to be reduced by 22.2% at 3 months, 28.9% at 6 months, 39.3% at 12 months, and 52.2% at 24 months (all P<0.001). All patients tolerated the procedure well without systemic side effects. Conclusion: Intravitreal bevacizumab may be used as an adjuvant agent following plaque brachytherapy. Treated choroidal melanomas show reduction in tumor volume as well as resolution of exudative retinal detachments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-198
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Ophthalmology
StatePublished - Jan 21 2013


  • Avastin (bevacizumab)
  • Brachytherapy
  • Choroidal melanoma
  • Retinal detachmen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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