New Radiation Instructions for Eye Plaque Patients 2018
Based on published guidelines from United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), The New York Eye Cancer Center and its affiliate New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mt. Sinai have agreed that patients undergoing low energy (iodine-125 or palladium-103) eye plaque radiation therapy for intraocular melanoma are allowed to proceed with their lives as usual.
Before this change, eye plaque patients were required to almost quarantine themselves. They had to remain at home, maintain a distance of 6-feet from others, and no pregnant women or children were allowed to visit.
With the new changes, patients can use public transportation. We ended most of the radiation exposure precautions and restrictions (i.e. you may go to the park, restaurants, grocery stores…etc.). However, it is recommended that patients stay at home as much as possible and that they do not engage in activities that could dislodge the implant and/or seeds. As before, the patient’s body fluids, clothing, and utensils ARE NOT radioactive and can be handled by others safely. We ask that the patient sleep alone and in a separate room away from anyone under the age of eighteen.
Dr. Finger says it’s about time: “With the radiation implants I use, eye cancer patients typically receive only a small fraction of the radiation given to patients undergoing implant radiation for other cancers, where patients are sent home on the day of implant.”
Though a few rules remain, they new radiation instructions are not nearly as strict. Free at last, patients can feel the sunlight, do their own shopping, and enjoy the company of their loved ones.
November 22nd Cairo, Egypt:
Physician scholars came together for The 2nd Middle East Ophthalmic Oncology & Pediatric Retina Meeting. Organized by Dr. Ihab Othman, the meeting fostered discussion of various topics in ocular oncology.
The Eye Cancer Foundation (ECF) fellow, Dr. Abhilasha Maheshwari, shared recent findings of ECF supported research. She first presented a talk covering Regression Patterns of Iris Melanoma After Palladium-103 (Pd-103) Plaque Brachytherapy. Originally researched by ECF-Fellow Dr. Sonal Chaugule and ECF-Chair, Dr. Paul T. Finger, this study shows how iris melanomas regress after Pd-103 plaque radiation therapy. First described by Dr. Finger, this type of iris melanoma irradiation allows doctors to preserve normal iris tissue and function. (See our results after Pd-103 plaque for iris and ciliary body melanomas on our web site here.) Results showed the tumors became darker, decreased in thickness and there was a reduction or complete elimination of the tumor vascularity.
Then, Dr. Maheshwari presented her own research performed with Dr. Finger. This study, A 12-Year Study of Slotted Palladium-103 (Pd-103) Radiation Therapy for Choroidal Melanoma: Near, Touching, or Surrounding the Optic Nerve, shows that by using Dr. Finger’s specially designed “slotted” plaques, even melanomas that surround the optic nerve can be treated with eye and vision-sparing radiation therapy (instead of removing the eye). Dr. Maheshwari’s results indicated > 98% tumor control, while most had relative preservation their sight and eye.
The Eye Cancer Foundation takes great pride supporting research that improves patient care. Our fellows are given travel grants to spread the word around the world. As we spread knowledge of these unique findings and improved treatments, we also spread hope for those who would alternatively lose both sight and life.
To donate to the ECF and help sponsor fellowships, research, and cancer treatments, click here!
"Very well treated by Dr. Finger. He explained everything I needed to know about my issue with detail and attention, putting me at ease and giving me confidence to handle this problem for the rest of my life.”