Ocular Melanoma

In collaboration with colleagues at Emory Eye Center, our team of specialists provide a multidisciplinary approach in the treatment of ocular melanoma and other tumors of the eye.

As a patient with ocular melanoma, you will benefit from access to the Emory Eye Center, a nationally ranked eye institute with a wealth of clinical expertise, groundbreaking research and treatment options for patients. 

Our multidisciplinary care teams include ophthalmologists, surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, pharmacists and advanced practice nurses with expertise in ocular melanoma.

The benefits of our multidisciplinary and highly experienced teams include:

  • Access to doctors and surgeons who rank among the top cancer experts in the world.
  • Weekly review of patient cases by the full team of experts.
  • Coordinated scheduling for appointments among various specialties.
  • Access to a nurse navigator to assist you throughout the treatment process.
  • Access to support programs and groups for you and your caregivers.
  • Availability of specific new treatment options for ocular melanoma within our clinical trials program.

Request an Appointment

If you have been diagnosed with ocular melanoma or other tumor of the eye, we are ready to help you. Contact the Emory Eye Center at (404) 778-2020 to request an appointment with one of our ophthalmologists. Or call (404) 778-1900. Winship experts are available to provide a second opinion.

Though ocular melanoma can be lethal and is fairly difficult to recognize by symptoms alone, periodic retinal examinations by an ophthalmologist have the potential to diagnose a problem at an early stage, therefore saving a patient's life.

An examination through a dilated pupil is one of the only ways that a doctor can diagnose ocular melanoma with enough time to save a patient's eye. Although a thorough eye examination by an experienced clinician is the most important procedure for detecting ocular melanoma, ancillary diagnostic testing may also be used. Ancillary diagnostic testing may include fluorescein angiography and ultrasonography.

Fluorescein angiography uses an injection of a fluorescent dye through the hand or arm to allow the photography of the blood vessels in the back of the eye. This procedure is most commonly used to confirm a diagnosis or to create guidelines for a treatment method.

Ultrasonography uses a small probe within the closed eyelid in order to bounce sound waves off of the eyeball. The reflected sound waves produce a 2D image of the interior of the eye, therefore helping a doctor to see abnormal tissues and the blood vessels in the eye.

A CT scan takes a series of detailed pictures of the eye using x-rays and a computer imaging system. These pictures allow doctors to see tumors within the orbits (eye sockets). In some cases, a dye may be injected into a vein so that the tissues are more visible in x-ray images.

An MRI uses a powerful magnet linked to a computer to create images of a targeted area such as the ocular orbits in order to see tumors and irregular tissues.

Ocular coherence tomography (OCT) is an imaging method that uses light beams and a reference mirror to reflect light on the retinal tissue in order to produce cross-sectional images of ocular tissue.

For reliable, in-depth information about cancer symptoms, staging and diagnosis, visit CancerQuest, an educational and outreach program at Emory University. 

The treatment method used for ocular melanoma depends not only on the size and location of the tumor (choroid, ciliary body, or iris), but also whether or not the cancer has spread.

The patient's overall health must also be taken into account. The main goals in treating ocular melanoma are to prevent the spread of the tumor and to maintain the patient's vision. The following methods of treatment may be used for the treatment of ocular melanoma:

Observation may be used for the treatment of small or slowly growing ocular tumors. It may also be the best option for those whose cancer is in their only functioning eye. If the cancer grows larger than 10mm in width or 2-3mm in height (thickness), the doctor and the patient may begin to sort through alternate treatment options.

Surgery is a common procedure for the treatment of ocular melanoma. A doctor will remove the affected parts of the eye depending on the size and spread of the tumor.

In some cases, the removal of the eye or enucleation is the only viable treatment option in order to save the patient's life. With the loss of an eye, a patient will have to work through various issues with depth perception and vision. Most patients adjust to these differences within a year.

Most patients are worried about what they may look like after the removal of an eye. There are many cosmetic options and plastic prostheses that can be used to restore a normal looking appearance.

Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to kill the cancer. Radiation therapy can be conducted using proton beams (charged particles), brachytherapy (internal radiation), or traditional external radiation. Radiation therapy is a localized therapy that treats only the area surrounding the cancer.

There are often times many side effects to radiation therapy. Radiation to the eye can result in cataracts (cloudy eye lens), loss of eyelashes, or dry eyes. There are methods of treatment that can alleviate symptoms that result from radiation to the eye.

Laser therapy uses heat from lasers to shrink smaller tumors. This method usually has fewer side effects than surgery and radiation therapy.

Clinical Trials

Emory Eye Center physicians are involved in numerous clinical trials and studies. Being part of a major medical center allows access to collaborative studies not otherwise possible. Emory Eye Center has ongoing clinical trials for the treatment of many eye disorders and diseases.

Cascade Link

Wendy Baer MD

  • Psychiatric Oncologist
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                                 Wendy Baer MD
Wendy Baer MD

Wendy Baer MD

Laura Brachman MD

  • Palliative Care Specialist
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                                 Laura Brachman MD
Laura Brachman MD

Laura Brachman MD

  • Dr. Brachman provides patients with cancer with relief from their symptoms and helps improve their quality of life throughout their journey.
  • Assistant Medical Director, Outpatient Palliative and Supportive Care, Emory Healthcare
  • (404) 778-6448

Hilary G. Cohen LCSW, OSW-C

  • Social Worker
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                                 Hilary G. Cohen LCSW, OSW-C
Hilary G. Cohen LCSW, OSW-C

Hilary G. Cohen LCSW, OSW-C

Hannah H. Collins NP

  • Nurse Practitioner
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                                 Hannah H. Collins NP
Hannah H. Collins NP

Hannah H. Collins NP

Kimberly A. Curseen MD

  • Supportive Oncologist
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                                 Kimberly A. Curseen MD
Kimberly A. Curseen MD

Kimberly A. Curseen MD

  • Board certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care, Dr. Curseen is the primary provider for the Supportive Oncology Clinic at Winship.
  • Director of Supportive and Palliative Care Outpatient Services , Emory Healthcare
  • (404) 778-6448

Hans E. Grossniklaus MD, MBA

  • Ophthalmologist
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                                 Hans E. Grossniklaus MD, MBA
Hans E. Grossniklaus MD, MBA

Hans E. Grossniklaus MD, MBA

  • Dr. Grossniklaus specializes in the treatment of diseases and cancers of the eye, specifically uveal melanoma, and retinal and conjunctival tumors.
  • Director, Section of Ocular Oncology and Pathology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-2020

Elise Hitron MSN, FNP-C

  • Nurse Practitioner
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                                 Elise Hitron MSN, FNP-C
Elise Hitron MSN, FNP-C

Elise Hitron MSN, FNP-C

G. Baker Hubbard III MD

  • Ophthalmologist
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                                 G. Baker Hubbard III MD
G. Baker Hubbard III MD

G. Baker Hubbard III MD

Ashish Khanna MD

  • Cancer Rehabilitation Specialist
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                                 Ashish Khanna MD
Ashish Khanna MD

Ashish Khanna MD

  • Dr. Khanna focuses on the identification and treatment of neuromuscular, musculoskeletal and other issues resulting from cancer and related treatments.
  • Director of Cancer Rehabilitation, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

Ragini Kudchadkar MD

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 Ragini Kudchadkar MD
Ragini Kudchadkar MD

Ragini Kudchadkar MD

  • Dr. Kudchadkar specializes in the treatment of cancers of the skin including metastatic melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma and other cutaneous malignancies.
  • Associate Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-0680

Susan K. Kunihiro MD

  • Palliative Care Specialist
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                                 Susan K. Kunihiro MD
Susan K. Kunihiro MD

Susan K. Kunihiro MD

  • Dr. Kunihiro works to improve quality of life for patients with cancer, no matter the stage of illness - from initial diagnosis, during treatment, in remission or closer to end of life.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-6448

Colleen Lewis NP

  • Nurse Practitioner
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                                 Colleen Lewis NP
Colleen Lewis NP

Colleen Lewis NP

  • Ms. Lewis is Director of Clinical Operations for the Phase I Clinical Trials Program at Winship Cancer Institute.
  • Director of Clinical Operations, Phase I Clinical Trials Program, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

Meredith Maxwell MD

  • Palliative Care Specialist
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                                 Meredith Maxwell MD
Meredith Maxwell MD

Meredith Maxwell MD

  • Dr. Maxwell collaborates with the multidisciplinary care team at Winship to help patients address symptoms and improve their quality of life during their journey with cancer.
  • Assistant Professor, Division of Palliative Medicine, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-6448

Michelle Park MD

  • Palliative Care Specialist
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                                 Michelle Park MD
Michelle Park MD

Michelle Park MD

  • Dr. Park helps improve quality of life for patients with cancer at any stage of their illness by addressing symptoms and collaborating with the multidisciplinary care team at Winship.
  • Assistant Professor, Division of Palliative Medicine, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-6448

Caroline Peacock LCSW, MDiv

  • Spiritual Health Provider
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                                 Caroline Peacock LCSW, MDiv
Caroline Peacock LCSW, MDiv

Caroline Peacock LCSW, MDiv

  • Caroline leads the Winship Spiritual Health Team in the work of offering compassionate, inclusive, supportive, evidence based care to patients, families and staff.
  • Director of Spiritual Health, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (470) 446-7844

Natalie Brooke Peeples MD

  • Palliative Care Specialist
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                                 Natalie Brooke Peeples MD
Natalie Brooke Peeples MD

Natalie Brooke Peeples MD

  • A palliative care specialist, Dr. Peeples, provides care and treatments to improve quality of life for patients in any stage of their cancer journey.
  • Assistant Professor, Division of Palliative Medicine, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-6448

M. Yawar J. Qadri MD, PhD

  • Pain Management Specialist
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                                 M. Yawar J. Qadri MD, PhD
M. Yawar J. Qadri MD, PhD

M. Yawar J. Qadri MD, PhD

  • A cancer pain management expert, Dr. Qadri collaborates with oncologists at Winship to treat patients with cancer suffering from chronic pain symptoms.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 686-2410

Margaret A. Riso MD

  • Pain Management Specialist
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                                 Margaret A. Riso MD
Margaret A. Riso MD

Margaret A. Riso MD

Vinita Singh MD

  • Pain Management Specialist
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                                 Vinita Singh MD
Vinita Singh MD

Vinita Singh MD

  • Dr. Singh collaborates with oncologists to provide state-of-the-art therapies to cancer patients suffering from pain symptoms.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 686-2410

Jesse A. Soodalter MD

  • Palliative Care Specialist
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                                 Jesse A. Soodalter MD
Jesse A. Soodalter MD

Jesse A. Soodalter MD

  • A palliative care specialist, Dr. Soodalter provides specialized outpatient medical care with a focus on relief from the symptoms and stress of cancer and other illnesses.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-6448

Jill R. Wells MD

  • Ophthalmologist
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                                 Jill R. Wells MD
Jill R. Wells MD

Jill R. Wells MD

Morgan J. Whitmore MD

  • Interventional Radiologist
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                                 Morgan J. Whitmore MD
Morgan J. Whitmore MD

Morgan J. Whitmore MD

  • Dr. Whitmore is an interventional radiologist with a clinical practice encompassing the full spectrum of minimally invasive vascular and non-vascular interventional radiology procedures.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-4747

Ted H. Wojno MD

  • Ophthalmologist
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                                 Ted H. Wojno MD
Ted H. Wojno MD

Ted H. Wojno MD

  • Dr. Wojno is a board certified ophthalmologist with sought-after expertise in oculoplastics and the treatment of tumors of the eyelids, tear ducts, and orbit.
  • James and Shirley Kuse Professor, Ophthalmology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-2020

Nan Xiang MD

  • Pain Management Specialist
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                                 Nan Xiang MD
Nan Xiang MD

Nan Xiang MD

Ali J. Zarrabi MD

  • Palliative Oncologist
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                                 Ali J. Zarrabi MD
Ali J. Zarrabi MD

Ali J. Zarrabi MD

  • Dr. Zarrabi provides physical, emotional, and spiritual care for patients living with serious illness.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-6448
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