Visionary 2014

The Eye Cancer Foundation, Inc.
Breakthroughs are being made in genetics
and protienomics research. For example, a
new drug called ipilimumab has been
associated with cures of late stage patients
with metastatic cutaneous melanoma.
The Eye Cancer Foundation
International Fellowship Program
In 2012, the board of The Eye Cancer Foundation approved six
international fellowship grants. Priority was given to doctors from
underserved nations that wanted to bring modern ophthalmic
oncology practice back to their country.
Herein, you will read about our latest ECF fellows and their work.
You can see how The Eye Cancer Foundation supports education
and eye cancer research around the world!
ECF Luncheon
New Website
ECF Bracelets
Sept. 21, 2013
Patients get together
for friendship and
support in New
York City.
Spring 2013
The ECF sponsored was
updated and serves
130,000 people each
UV Sensitive
Our new bracelets
turn purple in the
sun, reminding us to
wear our sunglasses.
Though the results of ipilimumab for uveal
melanoma patients have not been as
promising, similar research is pointing
towards MEK inhibitors and other new
classes of drug have given us hope.
Meanwhile, questions remain about the
importance of obtaining genetic
information from each patient’s tumor, the
risks associated with tumor-biopsy and the
effect of mortality-related information of
our patients’ quality of life.
Clearly, genetics and protienomics herald a
new chapter of discovery into how eye
cancers work and how we can defeat them.
Your support makes this happen!
International ECF Preceptors
The Eye Cancer Foundation has started an
ambitious plan to support the education of six
international fellows each year.
Brenda Gallie, MD - Canada
Dr. Brenda Gallie is leading the way towards making
retinoblastoma curable in less developed countries. RB typically
strikes children less than 3 years old, leaving families both
financially and emotionally devastated. The Eye Cancer
Foundation is committed to supporting Dr. Gallie’s efforts to
help educate pediatric ophthalmic oncologists around the world.
Santosh Hanovar, MD - India
Dr. Santosh Hanovar has been recognized by the government of
India as the recipient of the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar
Award. He has hosted our ECF fellow, Dr. Doan Le Trang from
Vietnam, and taught her about his system of cost-effective
management of advanced retinoblastoma.
Sarah Coupland, MBBS, PhD - England
Dr. Sarah Coupland at the Liverpool Ocular Oncology
Research Group hosted a USA-based ECF International
fellow. Dr. Coupland was recently elected Trustee for
ARVO and Vice-Chair of the American Joint Committee on
Cancer’s Ophthalmic Oncology Task Force.
Martine J. Jager, MD
Dr. Martine J Jager is a past president of The Association
for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and is
head of ophthalmology research in the Department of
Ophthalmology, Leiden University Medical Center in The
Netherlands. She is hosting, ECF fellow Dr. Mehmet
Dogrusöz of Turkey, who is worked with Dr. Jager on ocular
melanoma outcomes research.
It was a busy year for The Eye Cancer Foundation.
In 2013 we launched our new and vastly improved
website, The Eye Cancer Network
(, we supported the ongoing
eye cancer staging efforts of the American Joint
Committee on Cancer (AJCC) – International
Union for Cancer Control (UICC), and enabled the
education of many USA and international students
around the world.
Association for Research in Vision and
Ophthalmology (ARVO) Meeting in Seattle,
Washington and at both retina and radiation
oncology subspecialty meetings. The list of
publications and presentations is so long it cannot
be included in the Visionary 2013.
Highlights include: slotted plaque therapy at 5-years,
lack of radiation retinopathy after plaque therapy of
iris tumors, high dose anti-VEGF Lucentis helps
patients with refractory radiation retinopathy, longterm results of treatment for squamous carcinoma and
melanoma of the conjunctiva, the use of PET/CT for
patients with metastatic cancer in their eyes, genetic
analysis of iris melanoma as well as outcomes after
treatment of small and large choroidal melanomas
with palladium-103 plaque therapy.
With The Eye Cancer Foundation’s support, we
have published over 20 peer-review articles in
major ophthalmic and radiation oncology journals.
Our researchers and students have presented this
work at The American Academy of
Ophthalmology’s (AAO) Annual Meeting, the
Protect Your Eyes
“Think of Sunglasses as Sunblock for Your Eyes” ™
Sunlight contains harmful ultraviolet
(UV) rays that cause growths on the
eye, cataract, macular degeneration
and intraocular melanoma.
The Eye Cancer Foundation promotes
the use of sunglasses and distributes
these novel bracelets to remind us to
put them on!
From the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology,
Dr. Doan Le Trang helped care for 100 children with
retinoblastoma in active treatment, and over 250 over the last
three months. Confident now with the management protocols for
advanced retinoblastoma, she will establish the first
Retinoblastoma Service in Vietnam. Her fellowship with
Dr. Santosh Honavar at The Centre for Sight – Hyderabad, India
was coordinated by Australian eye cancer specialist Dr. James
Muecke of “Sight for All” and made possible by a grant from
The Eye Cancer Foundation.
International Ophthalmic Pathology
ECF International fellow, Dr. Chandrani Chattopadhyay from
the Elizabeth Grimm and Scott Woodman Labs in Houston
Texas traveled to work with Dr. Sarah Coupland at the
Liverpool Ocular Oncology Research Group. After a
successful interchange of ideas, they will continue their
research projects in the future.
Focusing on ocular melanoma research, Dr. Mehmet
Dogrusöz is training with Dr. Martine J. Jager in The
Department of Ophthalmology at the Leiden University
Medical Center in The Netherlands.
International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) Fellow
Dr. Carlos Chen participated in The Ocular Tumor Service
at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. His ECF
sponsored research on cystic retinal tumors resulted in a
manuscript titled, “Idiopathic Retinal Cyst.”
Melanoma, Astrocytoma and Lymphoma
ECF Fellows Present at ARVO
With respect to saving vision and life, uveal
melanoma size matters! Dr. Ekaterina Semenova
presented her ECF sponsored research now published
in the journal OPHTHALMOLOGY. She found that
palladium-103 plaque radiation therapy for smaller
T1-sized uveal melanomas offers the highest reported
local control and the lower metastatic rates than that
reported in treatment of medium-sized (T2 and T3) or
large T4-sized tumors. This suggests that treatment of
smaller tumors may save lives.
Of interest, another ECF-sponsored study showed
that treatment of large (T3, T4) melanomas were
associated with better than predicted outcomes after
palladium-103 plaque therapy.
Lymphomas are the most common malignancy
of the orbit. In his study, Dr. Graue compared
several methods of staging and treatment. Now
published in the European Journal of
Ophthalmology, this research revealed that
histologic type and method of treatment were
the best predictors for local control and systemic
cure. Orbital radiation therapy was found to
offer the best local and systemic outcomes.
The Ophthalmic Oncology Task Force
Dr. Paul Finger also hosted a dinner meeting
for The Ophthalmic Oncology Task Force of
the American Joint Committee on Cancer
Dr. Lucia De Pablo of Madrid, Spain presented her
ECF-sponsored study of “Multimodality Imaging of
Retinal Astrocytic Hamartoma.” This study examined
these rare retinal tumors with photography,
angiography, optical coherence tomography and
ultrasound. She found that each method offered
unique perspectives of these tumors.
Eye Cancer Foundation Fellow Dr. Gerardo Graue
of Mexico City, Mexico organized a multicenter,
New York based study of orbital adnexal lymphoma.
This meeting served to begin the process of
developing the 8th edition staging system for eye
cancers. In attendance were the Vice-Chair of
the AJCC, Dr. David Byrd and representatives
of three major eye journals as well as multiple
ophthalmic societies. The committee decided to
continue our work using internet-based
multicenter, international data analysis to find
statistically significant evidence to improve
AJCC Staging.
Happiness can be found in
giving to others!
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We can do so much, but only with your help!
The Eye Cancer Foundation is interested in promoting multicenter, international
cooperation to find the best methods for diagnosis and treatment of eye cancers.
However, we cannot do this without your support. Please consider a yearly donation to
continue and expand the research and educational activities described in the Visionary.
There are opportunities to name programs specifically funded by individual donors,
provide named funds for specific purposes and legacy funds in memory of loved ones.