Graefe's archive for clinical and experimental ophthalmology = Albrecht von Graefes Archiv für klinische und experimentelle Ophthalmologie vol:236 issue:3 pages:164-73
PURPOSE: We review the results of treatment of small to medium-sized choroidal malignant melanomas after high-dose-rate brachytherapy with a strontium-90 applicator. METHODS: The applicator is positioned against the sclera using an afterloading technique. Brachytherapy is completed in a single session lasting 2-4 h with the patient under local anaesthesia. From September 1983 until March 1995, 46 eyes were treated in this way. Most tumours were 7-11 mm in diameter (range from 4.5-15 mm) with a mean height of approximately 3 mm (range from 1.5-7 mm). Follow-up ranged from 6 months to 12 years (mean 49 months). RESULTS: Thirty of the 46 eyes had at the final evaluation a nonevolutive scar (20 of these after a single application, the others with some additional treatment). In 13 eyes the tumours were in involution but their complete destruction was not yet certain, and 3 eyes were enucleated for local recurrence. Three patients developed systemic metastases. No radiogenic complications were noticed. CONCLUSION: Strontium-90 brachytherapy is a valuable and safe treatment technique for small to medium-sized choroidal malignant melanomas. In addition the use of a strontium-90 applicator is inexpensive thanks to this element's long half-life and the short application time.