Research to Prevent Blindness

Test Identifies Eye Cancer Tumors Likely to Spread

test for ocular melanoma

PHOTO: Harbour LaboratoryUsing very small amounts of tumor tissue collected by a needle biopsy, doctors can conduct gene expression profile testing to determine the likelihood that an ocular melanoma tumor will spread beyond the eye.

RPB researchers have developed a genetic test that can accurately predict whether the most common form of eye cancer will spread to other parts of the body, particularly the liver. In 459 patients with ocular melanoma at 12 centers in the United States and Canada, the researchers found the test could successfully classify tumors more than 97 percent of the time.

Nearly half of patients with ocular melanoma have the type that will spread, and of those patients it is fatal nearly 90 percent of the time.

Read the press release.

Read the New York Times Article.

Read the abstract.


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