Ocular Oncology Plaque

Our Approach to Treatment

Houston Methodist’s ocular oncologists and vitreoretinal surgeons are highly skilled in treating uveal melanoma (eye cancer) and provide lifelong care to our patients, many of whom travel internationally for treatment. We are one of few centers nationwide that treat and research the disease.

Our specialists have performed hundreds of these procedures. The team, including radiation oncologists, oncologists, radiation physicists and pathologists, is at the top of its game and extremely focused to ensure every patient gets the best care possible.

We spend vast amounts of time examining minute details of every patient’s treatment plan and design custom plaques based on the size, shape and contour of the specific tumor. This commitment to excellence minimizes radiation damage to healthy eye parts while maximizing tumor treatment. Our team performs real-time ultrasound in the operating room to ensure our plaques are perfectly centered over the patient’s tumors while achieving a zero-percent local recurrence rate — meaning tumors have not regrown at the treatment site in the past four years. We ensure plaques cover each tumor, which takes extra time and intense attention to detail.

In addition to improving current treatments, Houston Methodist is to be part of one of the first multi-center trials researching new therapies. We also are launching new trials, which could make radiation obsolete.

Our experts continue to push for new ways to make this treatment as effective and painless as possible, while maintaining our patients’ vision and quality of life for as long as possible.

Plaque brachytherapy uses small discs called plaques that hold high-energy, radioactive seeds. The discs are surgically placed on the eye surface, specifically over the tumor, to deliver focused radiation and minimalize exposure to normal eye structures. The plaque is removed after a few days.

Learn more about eye cancer and your screening and diagnostic options.

Patient Story
Perhaps the best way to learn about our highly trained cancer specialists at Houston Methodist, the compassionate environment and innovative cancer treatments is through our patients. Listen to Darrell’s inspiring story.

Finding Treatment for Rare Eye Cancer

A friend’s cataract surgery reminded Darrell that he needed an eye exam. This decision was a wise one, because the retinal specialist he consulted in Alaska detected cancer and sent him to Houston Methodist to receive care for uveal melanoma, a rare eye cancer.