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Treatment of intraocular melanoma of the iris

The following are treatment options for all stages of intraocular melanoma of the iris. The types of treatments given are based on the unique needs of the person with cancer and the status of their vision.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is frequently used as a primary treatment for intraocular melanoma of the iris. Brachytherapy may be used instead of surgery in many cases.


Surgery is one of the main treatments for intraocular melanoma of the iris. The type of surgery depends on the extent of the cancer and how much of the eye tissue needs to be removed. Small intraocular melanomas of the iris may be removed with tumour resection surgeries, including:

  • iridectomy
  • iridotrabeculectomy
  • iridocyclectomy

An enucleation may have to be done if the tumour:

  • is large
  • is causing increased pressure within the eye (secondary glaucoma)
  • has spread to the optic nerve or outside the eye

Active surveillance

Active surveillance may be an option for some people with small, slow-growing intraocular melanoma of the iris. Treatment is given if the tumour begins to grow.

Clinical trials

People with intraocular melanoma may be offered the opportunity to participate in clinical trials. For more information, go to clinical trials.


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