The Ocular Oncology Center at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center is nationally recognized as a leader in research and patient care for eye cancer.
Physician researchers within the center, which also involves UC Medical Center and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, are conducting ongoing studies on uveal melanomas in adults and in child retinoblastomas, or cancers that begin in the back of the eye, as well as other intraocular tumors. Uveal melanoma is a cancer (melanoma) of the eye involving the iris, ciliary body or choroid (collectively referred to as the uvea). Tumors arise from melanocytes, cells that can carry pigment and that reside within the uvea (the middle layer of the eye between the retina and sclera).
Researchers within the center are working to improve standardized treatments and to discover new ways to promote early detection and treatment of these cancers.
Scientific studies and findings that have come from the Ocular Oncology Center focus on:
- Genetic expression profile testing and classification of tumor cells obtained by fine needle aspiration biopsy, as well as the relationship between gene expression in uveal melanomas and other pathological factors for metastasis (spread of the cancer).
- Improved methods of fine needle aspiration biopsy for uveal melanoma.
- Clinical and molecular factors for metastasis of uveal melanoma.
- Targeted therapy for metastatic uveal melanoma based on molecular pathway evidence obtained by testing metastatic tumor cells.
- Ophthalmic artery infusion chemotherapy for intraocular retinoblastoma.
- Study of safety and effectiveness of intravitreal injections (an injection into the vitreous, which is the jelly-like substance inside the eye) of chemotherapeutic drugs as treatment of intraocular retinoblastoma following intravenous chemotherapy.
- Study of liquid nitrogen spray cryotherapy as adjuvant (secondary) therapy for remaining or recurrent conjunctival neoplasms (tumors on the membrane that covers the eye, the conjunctiva) after attempted prior removal.
- Study of topical interferon treatment as adjuvant (secondary) therapy for remaining or recurrent conjunctival neoplasms after attempted prior removal.
- Application of Alston design plaque radiotherapy for various ocular tumors.
- New surgical techniques for intraocular surgery and the management of complications of radiation therapy.
- Development of new approaches to excision of ocular surface and intraocular tumors.
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