A recent study found that survival rates in patients who were and were not treated for metastatic uveal melanoma over a period of 30 years haven’t changed compared with rates from an earlier analysis.

Researchers evaluated 661 patients who were treated between 1982 and 2009 and received a diagnosis of metastasis through 2011. Those who received treatment for metastasis had a median survival time of 6.3 months; those who did not lived for an average of 1.7 months after diagnosis. These findings were comparable with median survival times of patients who were treated for uveal melanoma between 1975 and 1987 and developed metastasis through 1988. The median survival rates of this group were 5.2 months and 2 months for treated and untreated patients, respectively.

The study suggests that “despite the development of new therapeutics […] significant treatment advances for metastatic uveal melanoma have not been made; further research to identify effective treatments is necessary.”

For now, adjuvant therapies initiated at the time of diagnosis are the most effective way to prolong survival, the researchers note.

Lane AM, Kim IK, Gragoudas ES, et al. Survival rates in patients after treatment for metastasis from uveal melanoma. JAMA Ophthalmol. June 28, 2018. [Epub ahead of print].