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Proton beam radiotherapy

This treatment is selected when the tumour is not suitable for the more convenient plaque radiotherapy, that is, small intraocular melanomas near the optic nerve, some choroidal haemangiomas, iris melanomas, and some large intraocular melanomas.

 

The treatment involves:

A 45 minute operation under general anaesthesia, to suture four tiny tantalum markers to the wall of the eye, at known locations in relation to the tumour margins;

Treatment planning one or more weeks after the marker insertion, once any swelling has subsided;

A course of radiotherapy, with one 60-minute session on five consecutive days.

 

Fig5-3

Proton beam treatment plan showing the 'bubble' of radiation (in purple) focussed on the tumour (in red).

 

The radiotherapy itself is usually painless.