Ocular Oncology Service

The ocular oncology service at the USC Roski Eye Institute specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of tumors affecting the eye and orbit. Our dedicated ocular oncologists are skilled in the management of malignant and benign tumors that occur in all parts of the eye and orbit. In order to provide optimal care, our physicians collaborate with a patient’s primary care doctor and/or oncologist.

Patients should therefore bring past medical records, imaging and physicians’ contact information so we can provide a complete evaluation. The USC Roski Eye Institute is staffed with two dedicated ocular oncologists, each with specific fellowship training in ocular oncology with special expertise in the treatment of tumors in and around the eye and orbit. We have physicians who also have additional training in neuro-ophthalmology and oculoplastic surgery, enhancing our ability to diagnose and manage optic nerve tumors and perform reconstructive surgery.  The service provides management for:

  • lid tumors
  • conjunctival tumors such as ocular surface squamous neoplasia,
  • anterior segment and iris tumors
  • lymphoma
  • uveal lesions including melanoma, metastatic lesions, vascular lesions, and orbital and optic nerve lesions

Diagnostic Service

The USC Roski Eye Institute offers imaging and diagnostic testing such as fundus photography, fluorescein angiography, ICG angiography, optical coherence tomography and B-Scan ocular ultrasound. Our expert physicians can also perform biopsy of tumors as well as gene expression profiling for choroidal melanoma when necessary.

A Personalized Approach

We personalize our treatment approach to the type and location of benign or malignant lesion in your eye. In addition to the eye, we focus on the overall health and well being of our patients by taking a holistic approach to care, which is particularly important in the field of ocular oncology. We strive to build and maintain relationships with you in order to empower you to make sound treatment and therapeutic choices that work best for your life. We also understand the importance of having open communication with your primary care physician and oncologist giving you the seamless continuation of care you expect from the physicians at the USC Roski Eye Institute When necessary, we collaborate across disciplines with oncologists at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center as well as with other subspecialties within the USC Roski Eye Institute.

Plaque Brachytherapy (Radiation Therapy)

As pioneers in the field of ocular oncology, physicians at the Keck School of Medicine of USC in collaboration with the ocular oncologists at the USC Roski Eye Institute developed a special type of plaque brachytherapy, , to treat patients with choroidal melanoma. The plaque is called the USC Eye Physics plaque. In this procedure, a small gold metal button (or plaque) loaded with radioactive seeds is placed outside of the eyeball to treat the tumor on the inside of the eye. The plaque is personalized to each patient taking into account the size and shape of the tumor as well as the anatomy of a patient’s eye and orbit. This personalized approach to brachytherapy allows us to radiate the tumor while sparing other critical structures in the eye from radiation whenever possible. Our very high success rate with plaque brachytherapy allows many of our patients to avoid enucleation and some to maintain useful vision.

Making Advancements in Radiation Therapy

Results from our institution and the Eye Physics plaque were recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and showed a 98 percent success rate in controlling malignant melanoma inside the eye. Click here to view the published article.

Our Physicians: Jesse L Berry MD, Jonathan W Kim MD, Thomas C Lee MD, A Linn Murphee MD