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Long-Term Metastatic Risk after Biopsy of Posterior Uveal Melanoma

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PURPOSE: Biopsy of posterior uveal melanoma continues to be intensely debated in terms of the clinical benefits and safety profile. Although several studies have reported a low frequency of ocular complications after tumor biopsy, the potential long-term risk of iatrogenic dissemination remains unresolved. The purpose of this study was to assess the risk of metastatic disease after biopsy of posterior uveal melanoma.

DESIGN: Retrospective nationwide cohort study linking clinical and histopathologic records to pathology, cancer, and mortality registries.

PARTICIPANTS: All patients with posterior uveal melanoma treated in Denmark between January 1985 and December 2016.

METHODS: For each patient, we recorded detailed information on age, gender, tumor characteristics, and diagnostic and therapeutic measures, including tumor biopsy, if any, and the primary treating hospital. Absolute risk of melanoma-specific death was presented by cumulative incidence curves that accounted for competing risks. Cox regression models were used to estimate crude and adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for all-cause and melanoma-specific mortality of patients who underwent biopsy during primary treatment compared with nonbiopsied patients through November 1, 2017. Fine and Gray risk regression was used as a sensitivity analysis to evaluate the impact of competing risks.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: All-cause and melanoma-specific mortality.

RESULTS: Among 1637 patients, 567 (35%) underwent biopsy during primary treatment. At diagnosis, biopsied patients exhibited better prognostic characteristics, including smaller tumor size (P < 0.001) and younger age (P < 0.001), than nonbiopsied patients. In the adjusted analyses, we observed no apparent differences in all-cause mortality (HR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.89-1.26; P = 0.47) or melanoma-specific mortality (HR, 1.11; 95% CI, 0.89-1.39; P = 0.35) among biopsied patients compared with nonbiopsied patients.

CONCLUSIONS: All-cause and melanoma-specific mortality after primary treatment were similar among biopsied and nonbiopsied patients with posterior uveal melanoma. Our findings do not support an increased metastatic risk after intraocular tumor biopsy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOphthalmology
Volume125
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1969-1976
Number of pages7
ISSN0161-6420
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 53721294