Cancer cells

Eye cancer

Improving treatment outcomes for ocular melanoma
Our research addresses the need for alternative approaches in treating primary, locally recurrent and secondary ocular melanoma. We aim to improve outcomes and reduce fatalities from eye cancer.

About us

We seek to discover novel and alternative treatment approaches for primary, locally recurrent and secondary (metastatic) ocular melanoma.

Our current research in this field include:

What are the issues?

Eye cancer results in the loss of vision or an eye. Medical outcomes are often poor and there are very limited treatment options.

Types of eye cancer include:

  • ocular melanoma, the most common primary eye cancer in adults
  • extraocular or conjunctival melanoma, which are less common than uveal melanoma, but are likely to reoccur through spreading via lymph nodes across the body.

Secondary growths (also known as systemic metastases) are the main cause of early death in all types of ocular melanoma. These secondary tumours grow rapidly, are resistant to conventional chemotherapy and usually cause death within 12 months.

Research highlights

Our team continues to conduct research at the Save Sight Institute laboratories and collaborate with Kinghorn Cancer Centre, St Vincent's Hospital to discover better treatments for ocular melanoma.

Drawing from preliminary studies on factors that are important for tumour invasion, we examined the potential for HDAC inhibitors to control primary and recurrent ocular melanoma.

We are now undertaking transitional studies in vitro to examine the use of HDAC inhibitors in combination with standard chemotherapy agents and other novel treatment approaches.

Our cell culture studies examine the potential for new topical intraocular and/or combination therapies. These studies have received the involvement of Master of Medicine (Ophthalmic Science) and optometry students.

Our current studies include:

  • cell death analysis
  • drug-dose resopnse
  • flow cytometry analysis
  • genetic profiling studies.

Preliminary results have been presented and are being prepared for publication.

Save Sight Institute

  • South Block, Sydney Eye Hospital 8 Macquarie Street Sydney NSW 2000

Associate Professor Max Conway