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PURPOSE: To test the hypothesis that patients treated with radiotherapy for choroidal melanoma enjoy better quality of life (QoL) than patients who have undergone enucleation. METHODS: In this nonrandomized study, patients with choroidal melanoma treated at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool, UK, were invited to complete QoL questionnaires approximately 6 months postoperatively and then on each anniversary of their primary treatment. These instruments consisted of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-OPT30 questionnaire, Hospital Anxiety & Depression Scale, and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Treatment questionnaire. Patient-reported outcomes were correlated with demographics, ocular treatment, social factors, presenting tumor and ocular status, self-reported general health, marital status, and employment status. RESULTS: The 1596 patients were treated with radiotherapy (72.3%) or enucleation (27.7%). Enucleation was associated with male sex (χ2, P = .004), older age (t test, P < .001), larger tumor diameter (t test, P < .001), monosomy 3 (χ2, P < .001), depression (linear regression, 95% confidence interval [CI], .17 to 1.01), and reduced physical and functional well-being (linear regression, 95% CI, -1.14 to -0.12 and -1.96 to -0.47), respectively. Poor QoL was attributed to the ocular disease by 21% and 20% of enucleated and irradiated patients, respectively (χ2, P = .938). CONCLUSIONS: Patient-reported outcomes and QoL were worse in patients who had undergone primary enucleation for choroidal melanoma. These outcomes may partly have been caused by factors predisposing to enucleation rather than enucleation itself, because enucleated patients tended to be older, with more advanced disease at presentation, and a worse prognosis for survival. NOTE: Publication of this article is sponsored by the American Ophthalmological Society.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Ophthalmol

Publication Date





230 - 251