Episcleral Eye Plaque

Find your care

Radiation oncologists use a patient-centered approach and individualized treatment plans. To learn more and make an appointment with a UCLA radiation oncologist, contact us at:

Westwood - 310-825-9775
Santa Clarita - 661-287-0010
Santa Monica - 424-259-8777
Downtown LA - 213-744-1460

There used to be only one option for treating choroidal melanoma: enucleation, or the complete removal of the eye. In the mid-1980’s, UCLA physicians helped organize the seminal NIH-NEI Collaborative Ocular Melanoma Study (COMS), which demonstrated the effectiveness of episcleral plaque radiation therapy compared to enucleation in the treatment of choroidal melanoma. This technique of localized radiation (called brachytherapy) has provided life-saving treatmentwhile preserving the eyes of hundreds of patients from around the world treated by UCLA over a decade of experience.

Episcleral plaque brachytherapy requires the active teamwork of ophthalmologists, radiation oncologists and physicists. Specially arranged radioactive seeds (125-Iodine) are designed by our radiation oncology department to provide doses that conform precisely to tumors of various shapes and sizes. Then, utilizing intraoperative ultrasound guidance, these plaques are skillfully implanted by our colleagues at Jules Stein Eye Institute. UCLA is also at the cutting edge of research related to ocular melanoma. We are studying the molecular basis of ocular melanoma, as well as developing innovative methods for early detection of the spread of disease.

Our Expert Radiation Oncologists:

Albert J. Chang, MD, PhD
Accepting new patients
Radiation Oncology
Westwood Radiation Oncology |
200 Medical Plaza, Suite B265, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Tara A. McCannel, MD, PhD
Accepting new patients
Ocular Oncology| Retina and Vitreous Diseases
Doris Stein Eye Research Center |
200 Stein Plaza Doris Stein, Los Angeles, CA 90095