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Ocular Cancer

Ocular Oncology

Our knowledgeable team of ocular oncology specialists at the USC Roski Eye Institute provides expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of malignant and benign tumors of the eye and orbital region. The ocular oncology service offers comprehensive eye examinations that incorporate a detailed past medical history, diagnostic imaging and consultation with referring primary care physicians. Patients can uniquely benefit from the breadth of services offered, as ocular oncology conditions often require a multidisciplinary approach.

Should you or a loved one be coping with conditions treated by the ocular oncology service, know that the ophthalmologists at the USC Roski Eye Institute are ready to help you. Our years of successful treatment and cutting edge research are applied to every patient we see, providing the best possible eye care regimen that can be found.

Conditions We Treat

  • Eyelid Tumors
  • Conjunctival Tumors, Such as Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasia or Melanoma
  • Anterior Segment and Iris Tumors
  • Lymphoma of the Eye and Orbit
  • Uveal Lesions Including Melanoma, Metastatic Lesions, Vascular Lesions
  • Orbital and Optic Nerve Lesions

Diagnostic Service

We are dedicated to providing the most advanced technology in the diagnosis of ocular cancers or other conditions affecting the eye and surrounding orbit. We emphasize the importance of early diagnosis and encourage regular comprehensive eye examinations. As detection of cancerous lesions or tumors of the eye can be subtle, we specialize in the most cutting-edge imaging techniques and diagnostic tests.

  • Fundus Photography
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • ICG Angiography
  • Optical Coherence Tomography
  • B-Scan Ocular Ultrasound
  • Biopsy of Tumors
  • Gene Expression Profiling for Choroidal Melanoma


We recognize the importance of taking into account the overall health and well-being of each patient during their management and care in the ocular oncology service, providing a comprehensive approach and a customized treatment plan. Through building strong relationships with referring doctors, we also emphasize open communication with our patients and primary care physicians to ensure that they are educated in their condition and are knowledgeable about the treatment options available to them. Our team of subspecialists at USC, such as the oncologists and radiation oncologists at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, are readily accessible to our patients in cases that require multidisciplinary care. The treatments we provide include:

  • Plaque Brachytherapy
  • Radiation Therapy (In Conjunction with Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center)
  • Systemic Chemotherapy
  • Tumor Resection

Advances in Ocular Oncology Research

  • Plaque brachytherapy (type of radiation therapy): known as the USC Eye Physics plaque, this pioneering treatment for choroidal melanoma was developed by ocular oncologists at the USC Roski Eye Institute and USC Keck School of Medicine. This therapy consists of an implantable gold radioactive plaque, customized for each individual based on the size and shape of the tumor as well as patient’s anatomy, which is inserted on the outer part of the eye for a period of one week. The site-specific targeting of the tumor prevents damage to any peripheral healthy tissue, thus avoiding unnecessary damage. This approach has been found to be highly successful in controlling ocular tumors as well as giving the best possible visual outcome.
  • The Eye Physics plaque, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed successful results: 98 percent success rate in controlling malignant uveal melanoma on our service over the past 20 years.
  • Research is also being conducted on the evaluation of the aqueous humor for tumor-derived genetic information and its application to prognosis and precision medicine for retinoblastoma patients.
  • A Phase I study is underway to evaluate the clinical feasibility of treating retinoblastoma with a novel episcleral implant which delivers sustained levels of chemotherapy through a trans-scleral delivery method.

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