Cincinnati--January is national "Eye Care Health" month and for the
first time, Tristate residents have local access to the latest medical
advances in the treatment of eye cancer.
James Augsburger, MD,
Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of
Cincinnati (UC), says "Many improvements in eye care during the last
several decades are now available to people in the Tristate. For
example, we can treat a malignant tumor in an eye with a radioactive
implant (plaque) that is implanted surgically and then removed after
just a few days." The implant procedure, called radioactive eye plaque
therapy, is less traumatic than conventional treatment (surgical
removal of the entire affected eye), but is as effective in preventing
the spread of cancer and death. "We can also use special ophthalmic
lasers to destroy selected smaller malignant tumors within the eye,"
says Augsburger. Both plaque radiation therapy and laser therapy enable
physicians to preserve good vision in the patient's affected eye.
advance in eye tumor care is the use of fine needle aspiration biopsy
to confirm the diagnosis of intraocular (within the eyeball) tumors
before treatment. This provides a more precise diagnosis than previous
"Until recently, none of these advanced procedures were
available in the Greater Cincinnati area," says Augsburger. Patients
had to travel to larger eye centers in cities such as Boston,
Philadelphia, Baltimore, or New York City for such procedures. Since
becoming Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology last year,
Augsburger and his colleagues at the UC College of Medicine have
developed a full service Eye Tumor Center with all of the capabilities
of the larger centers. The most commonly encountered eye cancers in the
Eye Tumor Center are malignant melanoma of the uvea, retinoblastoma (a
genetic childhood eye cancer), and metastatic carcinoma to the eye from
another primary site such as the breast or lung.
Over the next
several years, Augsburger and his colleagues will be working to develop
innovative new therapies for macular degeneration and other ocular
disorders that are currently lacking effective treatment. For more
information about macular degeneration or the Eye Tumor Center, contact
Dr. Augsburger at (513) 584-2365 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.