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Intraocular melanoma

Other Names for this Disease
  • Melanoma of the Uvea
  • Uveal melanoma
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Intraocular melanoma is a cancer of the pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) in the middle layer of the eye, called the uveal tract.[1]  The uveal tract has 3 main parts: (1) the choroid (the tissue layer filled with blood vessels); (2) the ciliary body (the ring of muscle tissue that changes the size of the pupil and the shape of the lens); and (3) the iris (the colored part of the eye). Most cases (90%) of intraocular melanoma develop in the choroid, called choroidal melanoma; the ciliary body is less commonly a site of origin, and the iris is the least common.  Each manifests with different clinical features and symptoms. [2] Treatment depends on the site of origin (choroid, ciliary body, or iris), size and location of the tumor, the age of the individual, and other factors.[1] 
Last updated: 11/29/2010


  1. Intraocular (Eye) Melanoma Treatment (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. 06/15/2010; Accessed 11/29/2010.
  2. Shields, Carol, M.D., Shields, Jerry, M.D.. Ocular melanoma: relatively rare but requiring respect. Clinics in Dermatology. 2009;
  3. About Ocular Melanoma. Ocular Melanoma Foundation. Accessed 11/29/2010.
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Basic Information

  • The National Cancer Institute provides the most current information on cancer for patients, health professionals, and the general public.  Click on the link to view information on this topic. 

In Depth Information

  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Intraocular melanoma. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

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