Study seeks to improve options for high- and low-risk patients
Researchers at Cleveland Clinic’s Cole Eye Institute and Taussig Cancer Institute were awarded $500,000 from the National Cancer Institute for a two-year study to investigate uveal melanoma, a difficult-to-treat malignant tumor that originates in the eye.
The first phase of the two-phase trial will examine methods to categorize patients into high-risk or low-risk categories. Once assigned, high-risk patients will receive a combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy.
The first phase will be led by Arun D. Singh, MD, Ophthalmic Oncologist at the Cole Eye Institute. Dr. Singh estimates 1,500 new cases of uveal melanoma are diagnosed each year in the United States – a low-risk type and a high-risk tumor that spreads to other organs.
Taussig Cancer Institute Oncologist Pierre Triozzi, MD, will lead the second phase of the trial, which will provide a combination therapy that seeks to eliminate microscopic tumor seeding, in which cancer cells spread beyond the eye.
“Currently, there is not a standard method for distinguishing between types of uveal melanoma, making it difficult to predict what type of risk the cancer may present,” Dr. Singh says. “Developing better methods for prognostication will ultimately lead to treatment decisions that preserve vision in low-risk patients, while justifying more aggressive treatment in high-risk cases.”
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Arun D. Singh, MD
Cole Eye Institute
Pierre Triozzi, MD
Taussig Cancer Institute