Canadian Cancer Society logo

Eye cancer

You are here: 

Treatment of recurrent intraocular melanoma

The following are treatment options for recurrent intraocular melanoma. The types of treatments given are based on the unique needs of the person with cancer.

Intraocular melanoma often recurs despite treatment for the primary tumour. Treatment for recurrent intraocular melanoma depends on:

  • where the cancer recurs
  • extent of the recurrence
  • prior treatment
  • the person’s age and overall health

Cancer that comes back within the eye is usually treated with surgery. An enucleation is often needed. An exenteration may be needed if the intraocular melanoma has spread to the orbit of the eye (extraocular extension).

If the intraocular melanoma recurs outside the eye, it most often comes back in the liver. In rare cases, it can recur in other parts of the body, such as the lung or bone. Recurrent intraocular melanoma can be difficult to treat.

  • Treatment is often palliative. It is used to relieve pain or to control the symptoms caused by advanced cancer.
  • Treatment may include one or a combination of treatments, depending on the location and extent of the distant recurrence.
  • People with liver metastases may be offered chemotherapy, surgery (in certain situations) or other therapies.
  • Treatments used for metastatic skin melanoma may also be used to treat recurrent intraocular melanoma.

Clinical trials

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


Dr Jason Gilliland Dr Jason Gilliland is promoting physical activity in kids.

Learn more

How can you stop cancer before it starts?

It's My Life! icon

Discover how your lifestyle choices can affect cancer risk and how you can take action with our interactive tool – It’s My Life!

Learn more