Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Melanoma/Skin Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Intraocular (Uveal) Melanoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Ciliary Body Melanoma

Melanoma involving the ciliary body is a rare tumor that carries a poor prognosis. In some cases, diagnosis may be difficult because of similarity to other eye diseases. The differential diagnosis of ciliary body melanoma should be considered in cases of unilateral pigmentary glaucoma and chronic uveitis.[1]

Ultrasound biomicroscopy can be used to evaluate tumor shape, thickness, margins, reflectivity, and local invasion.[2,3] Patients with tumors greater than 7 mm in thickness are at increased risk for metastatic disease and melanoma-related death compared with patients with thinner tumors.[4]

Recommended Related to Melanoma/Skin Cancer

How Doctors Diagnose Metastatic Melanoma

After your doctor says you have melanoma skin cancer, your first question is probably going to be: Has it spread?  Your doctor will do tests to find out if it has moved, or “metastasized,” deeper within your skin or to other parts of your body. There are some possible clues in the lab report your doctor got when you first got your melanoma diagnosis. If the melanoma is less than 1 millimeter thick, it’s less likely to have spread than a thicker one. The report might also mention how quickly the...

Read the How Doctors Diagnose Metastatic Melanoma article > >

Standard treatment options:

There are several options for management of ciliary body melanoma. All of them are reported from case series.[Level of evidence: 3iiiDiv] The choice of therapy, however, depends on many factors.

  1. Plaque radiation therapy: Local control rates are high, but treatment is associated with a high incidence of secondary cataract.[4,5]
  2. External-beam, charged-particle radiation therapy: This approach is offered at specialized referral centers. It requires careful patient cooperation, with voluntary fixation of gaze.[6,7,8]
  3. Local tumor resection: This option is mainly suitable for selected ciliary body or anterior choroidal tumors with smaller basal dimension and greater thickness.[9,10]
  4. Enucleation: This option is generally reserved for large melanomas when there is no hope of regaining useful vision. It is also indicated in the presence of intractable secondary glaucoma and extraocular extension.[5,8]

Current Clinical Trials

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with ciliary body and choroid melanoma, small size. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.


  1. Nguyen QD, Foster CS: Ciliary body melanoma masquerading as chronic uveitis. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 6 (4): 253-6, 1998.
  2. Marigo FA, Finger PT, McCormick SA, et al.: Iris and ciliary body melanomas: ultrasound biomicroscopy with histopathologic correlation. Arch Ophthalmol 118 (11): 1515-21, 2000.
  3. Daftari I, Barash D, Lin S, et al.: Use of high-frequency ultrasound imaging to improve delineation of anterior uveal melanoma for proton irradiation. Phys Med Biol 46 (2): 579-90, 2001.
  4. Gündüz K, Shields CL, Shields JA, et al.: Plaque radiotherapy of uveal melanoma with predominant ciliary body involvement. Arch Ophthalmol 117 (2): 170-7, 1999.
  5. Finger PT: Plaque radiation therapy for malignant melanoma of the iris and ciliary body. Am J Ophthalmol 132 (3): 328-35, 2001.
  6. Munzenrider JE: Uveal melanomas. Conservation treatment. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am 15 (2): 389-402, 2001.
  7. Char DH, Kroll SM, Castro J: Ten-year follow-up of helium ion therapy for uveal melanoma. Am J Ophthalmol 125 (1): 81-9, 1998.
  8. De Potter P: [Choroidal melanoma: current therapeutic approaches] J Fr Ophtalmol 25 (2): 203-11, 2002.
  9. De Potter P, Shields CL, Shields JA: New treatment modalities for uveal melanoma. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 7 (3): 27-32, 1996.
  10. Char DH, Miller T, Crawford JB: Uveal tumour resection. Br J Ophthalmol 85 (10): 1213-9, 2001.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Malignant melanoma
    About 40-50 percent of those who live to be 65 may get it. Here’s how to spot early.
    Woman checking out tan lines
    There’s a dark side to that strive for beauty. See them here.
    sauteed cherry tomatoes
    Fight cancer one plate at a time.
    Lung cancer xray
    See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
    12 Ways to Protect Your Skin from Melanoma
    precancerous lesions slideshow
    Do You Know Your Melanoma ABCs
    15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore
    screening tests for men
    Vitamin D
    Is That Mole Skin Cancer
    Brilliant sun rays