Melanoma Treatment with Radioactive Plaques

Melanoma treatment with radioactive plaques is a radiation therapy for cancer of the eye. Melanoma is the most common type of eye tumor in adults. Chroidal melanoma is the most common of the intraocular tumors. The chroid is the layer of blood vessels and connective tissue between the white of the eye (sclera) and the retina that provides nutrition to the inner eye areas. Radioactive plaque is one option doctors have to treat such tumors. Plaque brachytherapy is the most frequently used eye-sparing treatment for choroidal melanoma. The radioactivity usually comes from use of cesium or Iodine-125. Brachytherapy is an accepted treatment for this melanoma of the eye.  Brachytherapy is a form of radiation therapy that attacks malignant tumors by placing a radioactive source near the tumor. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia in children and local anesthesia in adults. The patient stays in the hospital under strict radiation safety precautions for the duration of the radiation exposure, after which the plaque is removed. The surgery for plaque removal is a short, simple procedure and often the patient can go home later the same day. The effects are periodically assessed every 6 weeks to 3 months until there is complete regression. 




UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for Melanoma Treatment with Radioactive Plaques. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information on clinical trials at

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