Eye Cancer Treatment Techniques That Save Vision

Upload: November 25, 2015Two treatments for eye cancer pioneered by Dr. Paul Finger are saving vision and helping patients keep their eyes. Dr. Finger talked about these developments in a wide-ranging interview with Ivanhoe:

“The most common primary intraocular tumor is melanoma. They are like malignant melanomas of the skin, but they are hidden inside the eye. At The New York Eye Cancer Center, more than 90 percent of patients with intraocular melanoma can be treated by sewing a disc-shaped radioactive implant on the eye, as to cover the tumor. It is left there for one week while it kills the tumor.”

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Eye on Ocular Melanoma

The October issue of EyeWorld magazine featured an in-depth discussion with Dr. Paul Finger on ocular melanoma.

Upload: November 25, 2015

Many patients worry about skin melanoma metastasizing to the eye, but Dr. Finger said this isn’t the norm.

“I’ve been an ocular oncologist for a long time now. One of the things that comes up over and over again is that a patient will come in with a history of skin melanoma, and he was told that he has a nevus or a freckle in his eye, and he’s really panicked that this is a metastatic lesion.”

However, what Dr. Finger has found is that almost all eye melanomas start in the eye. In contrast, skin melanomas rarely spread to the eye. When they do, the patient usually has a history of spread to other organs. In his review of the subject, Dr. Finger has noted distinct signs when melanoma metastasizes to the eye:

“There are certain things that happen in the eye when it’s a metastasis versus a primary eye melanoma that would tip you off to thinking that it’s from somewhere else and that you might want to look other places to see that it’s metastatic.”

Dr. Finger goes on to cover some of the treatment options, and how they differ between primary melanoma and metastasized tumors. He said patients with ocular primary melanoma, also known as choroidal melanoma, usually fare far better. You can read the entire article HERE.


Skin Cancer Also a Threat to Your Eyes

Upload: November 25, 2015We see a lot of information about skin cancer and measures we should take to prevent it, but few people realize this disease can impact their eyes.

A Fox News article featuring Dr. Finger highlights melanoma of the conjunctiva, the delicate tissue covering the insides of the eyelids. This is the same area affected by conjunctivitis, better known as pink eye. Tumors in and around the eyes are more dangerous because they tend to resist treatment more than melanomas on the skin.  Continue reading…


Widely-Used Cancer Drug Curbs Vision Loss in Eye Cancer Patients

Upload: November 25, 2015According to a study authored by Dr. Paul Finger, injections of a widely-used cancer drug curbs vision loss due to radiation treatment of eye cancer.

“This is a major breakthrough for eye cancer patients who are treated with radiation therapy and commonly develop radiation retinopathy. Avastin reduces abnormal blood vessel growth, stops leakage in the eye and the patients wind up seeing better. This is a first.”

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Finger-Tip Cryotherapy for Conjunctival Tumors


The Finger Iridectomy Technique – Small Incision Tumor Biopsy


Dr. Finger Develops Pioneering Treatment for Ocular Tumors

Upload: November 25, 2015An article in the 1999 issues of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute highlights a pioneering treatment technique for ocular cancer developed by Dr. Paul Finger.

Up until that time, removal of the eyeball was still commonly used to treat large eye tumors. Dr. Finger developed an effective alternative using radiotherapy.

“Paul T. Finger, M.D., calls himself a champion — or more accurately, the champion — of palladium-103 in radiotherapy of eye melanomas, which he said should reduce the chance of common side effects such as neovascular glaucoma, cataract, hemorrhage, and neuropathy compared with I-125. The lower-energy photons generated by palladium-103 are more rapidly absorbed in tissue. The result is that the same dose at the apex — the target point for the radiation — results in a higher dose to nearby tissue and a lower dose to more distant healthy tissue than I-125 would give.”

At the time, Dr. Finger was believed to be the only physician in the world using this treatment for eye cancer. It is now used in multiple centers in the United States of America (where palladium-103 seeds are most widely available).

You can read the entire JNCI article HERE for more detailed information on the evolution of this treatment.


Patient Stories

"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.”
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