Molecular clues could signal eye cancer survival odds

Stanford researchers have discovered that the level of certain proteins in the eye could predict survival risk in patients with uveal melanoma, a relatively rare but deadly form of adult eye cancer. The researchers hope the discovery will not only aid in disease monitoring but could also lead to therapies tailored to individual patients.

For a recently published study on the finding, Prithvi Mruthyunjaya, MD, and Vinit Mahajan, MD, PhD, associate professors of ophthalmology at the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford, led a research team that surveyed 1,000 proteins in more than 30 Stanford Medicine patients with uveal melanoma. They then analyzed proteins in the patients' eye fluids to discover key protein biomarkers, or molecular signals, linked to potentially metastatic disease, meaning it spreads to other parts of the body.

Top photo, courtesy of Stanford Health Care, of Prithvi Mruthyunjaya, MD, holding a 20 diopter condensing lens, a tool used to focus light from the ophthalmoscope to obtain an image of the retina.