IJCEP Copyright © 2007-All rights reserved.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2013;6(7):1230-1244

Review Article
Ocular melanoma: an overview of the current status

Predrag Jovanovic, Marija Mihajlovic, Jasmina Djordjevic-Jocic, Slobodan Vlajkovic, Sonja Cekic, Vladisav Stefanovic

Clinic of Ophthalmology, Department of Clinical Research, Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Nis, Nis, Serbia

Received April 25, 2013; Accepted May 23, 2013; Epub June 15, 2013; Published July 1, 2013

Abstract: Ocular melanoma is the second most common type of melanoma after cutaneous and the most common primary intraocular
malignant tumor in adults. Large majority of ocular melanomas originate from uvea, while conjunctival melanomas are far less frequent.
Incidence of uveal melanoma has remained stable over last three decades. Diagnosis is in most cases established by clinical examination
with great accuracy. Local treatment of uveal melanoma has improved, with increased use of conservative methods and preservation of the
eye, but survival rates have remained unchanged. Recent advances in cytogenetics and genetics enhanced prognostication and enabled to
determine tumors with high metastatic potential. However, due to lack of effective systemic therapy, prognosis of patients with metastasis
remains poor and metastatic disease remains the leading cause of death among patients with uveal melanoma. Conjunctival melanoma is
rare, but its incidence is increasing. It mostly occurs among white adults. In majority of cases it originates from preceding primary acquired
melanosis. Current standard treatment for conjunctival melanoma is wide local excision with adjuvant therapy, including brachytherapy,
cryotherapy and topical application of chemotherapeutic agent. Rarity of this tumor limits conduction of controlled trials to define the best
treatment modality. As well as for uveal melanoma, prognosis of patients with metastasis is poor because there is no effective systemic
therapy. Better understanding of underlying genetic and molecular abnormalities implicated in development and progression of ocular
melanomas provides a great opportunity for development of targeted therapy, which will hopefully improve prognosis of patients with metastatic
disease. (IJCEP1304033).

Keywords: Melanoma, ocular, uveal, conjunctival

Address correspondence to: Dr. Vladisav Stefanovic, Faculty of Medicine, Bul. Zorana Djindjica 81, 18000 Nis, Serbia. Tel: 381-18-4670-029;
Fax: 381-18-4238-770; E-mail: stefan@ni.ac.rs