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Can J Ophthalmol. 2012 Jun;47(3):246-53. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjo.2012.03.038.

Uveal melanoma prognostication: from lesion size and cell type to molecular class.

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  • 1Division of Oculofacial Plastic and Orbital Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA.



To review the evidence for molecular genetic testing of uveal melanoma in the context of prognostic indicators of metastasis and tumour-related mortality.


Review of the literature and personal experiences of the authors.


We conducted a MEDLINE, Embase, and PubMed literature search (1980-2011) for English-language abstracts and full-text references regarding molecular genetic testing of uveal melanoma. Search terms included uveal, melanoma, cytogenetic, gene, and molecular. All studies in which patients with primary uveal melanoma underwent molecular genetic testing with survival data for disease-related metastasis and mortality were reviewed.


From 176 identified articles, 40 were scientific studies of uveal melanomas that included histologic and molecular genetic analysis. Of those, 24 included survival data, correlation of molecular genetic features with other prognostic indicators, or both. Cytogenetic and microarray gene expression analysis allows uveal melanoma lesions to be classified as high risk or low risk for metastasis and disease-related mortality. Gene expression profiling supersedes clinical, histologic, and cytogenetic prognosticators.


Uveal melanoma comprises a heterogeneous group of malignancies based on its molecular biology. Molecular class by gene expression profiling has the most strongly predictive value for uveal melanoma metastasis and mortality.

Copyright © 2012 Canadian Ophthalmological Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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