Mortality after deferral of treatment or no treatment for choroidal melanoma

For The Collaborative Ocular Melanoma Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: To report mortality of patients who were eligible for enrollment in the Collaborative Ocular Melanoma Study (COMS) clinical trials of medium-sized choroidal melanoma or large-sized choroidal melanoma but chose to defer treatment or receive no melanoma treatment. Design: Prospective nonrandomized multicenter cohort study as an adjunct to COMS randomized clinical trials. Methods: Patient follow-up procedures included examinations, correspondence, telephone contacts, and National Death Index searches. Primary outcome was patient death measured by all-cause mortality. Secondary outcomes were melanoma treatment and melanoma metastasis. Results: Of 77 patients eligible for COMS clinical trials who chose to defer or receive no melanoma treatment, 61 were appropriate candidates and 45 (74%) enrolled in the natural history study (NHS). In all, 42 patients (42 eyes) had medium melanoma, and the median follow-up was 5.3 years (range, 4-10.7 years). In all, 22 patients (52%) had subsequent melanoma treatment, and 20 (48%) had no melanoma treatment. For the 42 patients, Kaplan-Meier estimate of 5-year mortality was approximately 30% [95% confidence interval (CI), 18%-47%]. For COMS medium melanoma trial, 5-year mortality was 18% (95% CI, 16%-20%), not statistically significantly different from the NHS patients. After adjusting for differences in age and longest basal diameter, the 5-year risk of death for NHS patients versus COMS trial patients was 1.54 (95% CI, 0.93-2.56). Three patients had large melanoma. Melanoma metastasis was confirmed or suspected in 8 (42%) of 19 deaths. Conclusion: Greater mortality and higher risk of death for NHS patients are probative but not conclusive evidence of a beneficial, life-extending effect of medium melanoma treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1395-1400
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • COMS
  • Choroidal melanoma
  • melanoma
  • mortality
  • uveal melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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