Uveal Melanomas (UMs) arise from melanocytes. This cell type originates from neural crest cells and thereby uveal melanomas share their origin with pheochromocytomas, neuroblastomas, paragangliomas and cutaneous melanomas, other tumors that develop from neural crest originating cells. Uveal melanoma is the most common primary tumor in the eye with an incidence of approximately 7 per million every year in the Western World. In adults, 80 percent of all intraocular tumors are uveal melanomas. The mean age at diagnosis is 60 years. Most uveal melanomas arise in the ciliary body (23%), or the choroid (72%) and a small fraction originates in the iris (5%). Predispositions for UM are a light eye color, fair skin color and ability to tan, which are all related with a fair phenotype. Despite advances in treatment with enucleation, preenucleation radiotherapy, stereotactic radiotherapy, brachytherapy, charged particle irradiation, thermo therapy and local eye wall resection, the mortality rate has not changed significantly. As many as 50% of all newly diagnosed patients will die from distant metastases, which are mainly located in the liver.

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Dutch Cancer Society (KWF)
G.P.M. Luyten (Gré) , G. van Rij (Gabriel)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Gils, W. (2008, January 30). Molecular Prognostic Markers in Uveal Melanoma: Expression Profiling and Genomic Studies. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/20473