Background: Because uveal melanoma is the most common primary malignant intraocular tumor in adults and carries a significant risk of metastases, which are mostly unresponsive to available systemic therapy, researchers have been searching for prognostic indicators to identify patients at increased risk for developing such metastasis. Methods: The purpose of this study is to describe recent advances in prognostic testing of patients with uveal melanoma and the impact of these advances on the management of uveal melanoma. The relevant, peer-reviewed literature as extracted and then further reviewed for scientific content. Results: Demographic characteristics, clinical, and histopathological features alone are inadequate for predicting metastatic risk in individual patients with uveal melanoma. Some research has shown that cytogenetic abnormalities and principally transcriptomic features of tumor cells can independently predict high risk for uveal melanoma metastatic spread. Gene expression profiling of uveal melanoma cells may be accurate and biologically informative for molecular prognostication. Methods for detecting chromosomal gains and losses have predictive value but require additional clinical and cytological information. The latest step in the evolution of molecular testing has been the discovery of major driver mutations for possible use in targeted therapy. Conclusions: Assay validation, quality control, and interpretation of results are essential for the reliability and reproducibility of these tests. Although these prognostic tests have improved the ability to identify patients at increased risk for developing metastasis, their use has not changed the management of uveal melanoma. However, genomic, analytical, and sequencing technologies will provide a critical step toward useful targeted therapies for patients with high-risk uveal melanoma.
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