Purpose: To determine the rate of mortality for uveal melanoma in the Korean population and assess whether it correlates with cytogenetic data, and clinical and histopathological factors. Methods: A retrospective review of medical files from 33 uveal melanoma patients who underwent enucleation at Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, between January, 1994 and December, 2009 was performed. Dual-colour fluorescence in situ hybridization was performed using centromeric probes for chromosome 3 and 8 in archived patient tissues. Results: The mean age of patients was 53.2 years (range; 29-78), and the mean largest basal diameter was 11.8 mm (range; 6.0-18.1). Of the 20 tissue blocks with available cytogenetic data, there was monosomy 3 in seven (35%) and polysomy 8 in four (20%). The presence of monosomy 3 (p < 0.001), polysomy 8 (p < 0.001), ciliary body involvement (p < 0.001), a mitotic rate ≥5/40 high-power fields (p = 0.006), closed extravascular matrix loop (p = 0.025), large basal tumour diameter (p = 0.029) and epithelioid cellularity (p = 0.038) predicted melanoma-related mortality. The median time from enucleation to liver metastasis was 16 months (range; 10-70), and the median survival after metastasis was 5 months (range; 1-9). The Kaplan-Meier survival curve estimated the metastatic death rate to be 22% for 5 years and 30% for 10 years. Conclusions: Korean patients with uveal melanoma are younger and appear to exhibit no worse prognosis than Caucasian. Cytogenetic abnormality of chromosome 3 and 8 highly predicted metastatic death.
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