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New hope for eye cancer

Patients suffering from a certain form of cancer of the eye need not have to remove their dieased eye, according to a new study.//

The results of the Collaborative ocular Melanoma Study(COMS), a multi-centre trial released by the Archives of Opthalmology, found that survival rates were the same regardless of whether the eye was removed or the patient had instead undergone radiation therapy.

Davidorf, Professor of Opthalmology and investigator of COMS, Ohio said that removal of the eye is the only option for bigger tumours.

The study looked at 1,317 patients with cancer of the choroid,the thin layer of vessels beneath the retina, which contains most of the eye's melanocytes .All the patients had medium sized tumours (2.5- 10mm in height and within 16mm in diameter) ranging from the size of a small pea to a bean.Half of the patients(657) underwent radiation therapy while the other half(660) had their affected eye removed.

Findings show that 82% of the former group and 81% of the latter group were living five yeras after initial treatment.By five years after treatment, 12% had the treated eye removed due to complications of the radiation treatment or tumour growth.


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