Ocular Oncology

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Ocular Oncology Center of Excellence

Ivana K. Kim, MD
Bruce R. Ksander, PhD
See a list of Ocular Oncology faculty

Ocular oncology involves the study and treatment of tumors that occur in or around the eye. These tumors can range from harmless to potentially life-threatening, and may cause vision loss or loss of the eye itself.


Due to the complex nature of ocular oncology, our faculty includes experts in cornea, ophthalmic plastic surgery, pathology, and retina. Mass. Eye and Ear researchers and clinician scientists have experience with a range of conditions, including ocular surface tumors, uveal melanoma, orbital tumors and inflammation, and retinoblastoma.


Major Research Breakthoughs

Researchers at Mass. Eye and Ear have made several groundbreaking advances in the field of ocular oncology, including the identification and isolation of the retinoblastoma (Rb) gene—the first known tumor-suppressor gene, which formed an important cornerstone in the molecular basis of cancer.  Below are highlights of our accomplishments of the past 2o years:


  • Conducted the first adjuvant trial investigating the role of interferon for reducing the risk of metastasis from uveal melanoma
  • Contributed to the characterization of BAP1 tumor predisposition syndrome and defined the prevalence of germline BAP1 mutations in patients with uveal melanoma
  • Evaluated the role of antivascular endothelial growth factor therapy in preventing vision loss due to radiation retinopathy in patients with choroidal melanoma
  • Performed first in-human study of a novel targeted therapy for uveal melanoma
  • Investigated inhibitory effect of verteporfin on various tumor cell lines

2020 Vision: Promising Areas for Future Research

Looking to the future, our investigators aim to identify new biomarkers for earlier detection of metastatic ocular melanoma, develop adjuvant therapies, and improve visual outcomes after ocular melanoma treatment.