Ophthalmic Oncology

Appointment New Patient Appointment or 214-645-2020

Ocular oncologists at UT Southwestern Medical Center specialize in diagnosis and treatment for cancers of the eye and surrounding tissues. Using the most advanced diagnostic and treatment methods available, we guide each patient through a personalized treatment plan for the best possible outcome.

Advanced Care for Cancer of the Eye and Surrounding Areas

Cancer that develops in the eye or nearby tissues can be difficult to treat, because vision can be affected. Our eye cancer specialists have extensive training and skill in diagnosing and treating cancer, as well as treating eye conditions (ophthalmology). We provide comprehensive care to successfully treat the cancer and preserve sight.

Our ocular oncology team works closely with specialists from several disciplines to provide a full spectrum of diagnosis and treatment. Our partners include oculoplastic surgeons for reconstructive surgery, as well as oncologists, radiologists, neurosurgeons, interventional neuroradiologists, and ear, nose, and throat surgeons.

Eye Cancers We Treat

Some of the eye cancers we treat include:

  • Choroidal melanoma: Skin cancer that develops in the choroid, the layer behind the retina at the back of the eye
  • Conjunctival tumor: Cancers such as melanoma, lymphoma, and squamous carcinoma that develop in the conjunctiva, the membrane that covers the front of the eye and inner eyelids
  • Eyelid tumor: Skin cancer that develops in or on the eyelid
  • Iris tumor: Cancer such as melanoma that develop in the iris, the colored part of the eye
  • Lacrimal gland tumors: Cancer that develops in the lacrimal (tear) glands, which produce tears
  • Orbital tumor: Cancer that develops within the eye socket, behind the eye, and often causes the eye to bulge outward
  • Retina tumor: Cancer such as retinoblastoma that develops in the retina, the back of the eye where images are focused
  • Tumors metastatic to the eye: Cancer that first develops elsewhere in the body, such as the breast or lung, and spreads (metastasizes) to the eye
  • Tumors of the optic nerve: Cancer in, on, or near the optic nerve, which transmits images to the brain
  • Tumors related to leukemia and lymphoma: Lymphoma (cancer of immune system cells) and leukemia (cancer of white blood cells) that starts in the eye

Treatments for Eye Cancer

Using UT Southwestern’s extensive diagnostic resources, among the most advanced in the nation, our skilled team can detect cancer of the eye and surrounding structures as early as possible, which can enhance treatment outcomes.

Depending on each patient’s symptoms and health, our eye cancer specialists might recommend one or more of the following tests:

  • Computed tomography scan: 3-D imaging that provides cross-sectional images
  • Magnetic resonance image (MRI) scan: Imaging that can show details such as tumor size, produced using magnetic fields
  • Positron-emission topography (PET) scan: Imaging that can show whether certain tissues might be cancer
  • Fluorescein angiography: Detailed images that show blood vessels
  • Fundus photography: Specialized photos using a microscope to show details of the retina
  • Pupillary and ocular motion evaluations: Tests that measure reflex and movement of the pupil and eye
  • Ultrasound: Images produced using high-frequency sound waves

Depending on the type of ocular cancer, UT Southwestern ocular oncologists use a variety of treatment options, such as:

  • Chemotherapy: Systemic (travels through the bloodstream) medication to destroy cancer cells
  • Cryotherapy: Targeted cold therapy that freezes cancer cells to destroy and remove them
  • Pinpointed beam radiation therapy (Accuray technology): Image-guided radiation therapy that precisely targets cancer cells
  • Radiation plaque therapy: Radiation applied directly to the tumor for a specified period of time
  • Enucleation: Surgical removal of the eye