Carbon Fiducial Markers for Tumor Localization in Stereotactic Irradiation of Uveal Melanoma

Timothy T. Xu, Jose S. Pulido, Ian F. Parney, Cristiane M. Ida, Lauren A. Dalvin, Timothy W. Olsen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose: The aim of this study was to demonstrate the role of carbon fiducial markers (fiducials) for guiding radiotherapy in the management of uveal melanoma (UM). Methods: This is a retrospective interventional case series at a single-center ocular oncology practice. The medical records were reviewed retrospectively for all patients with UM treated with stereotactic radiosurgery using episcleral fiducials. We report our short-term experience with surgical placement of fiducials, UM localization, treatment outcomes, and optimization approaches. Results: We evaluated 11 cases of UM (mean age: 65 years; 64% female). The placed fiducials were numbered from 2 to 4, each secured to the sclera with a surgical microscope or surgical loupes and either 5-0 or 8-0 nylon sutures at 50% scleral depth and 3 mm beyond the tumor margin. Over a median follow-up of 11 months (range: 4.2-43.2 months), no recurrences of intraocular UM were observed. One case of enucleation after stereotactic radiosurgery developed because of radiation-related surface irritation, ocular dryness, and secondary keratopathy. Two patients (18%) with 5-0 nylon sutures required fiducial removal because of suture exposure, successfully accomplished in an outpatient setting. Conclusions: Fiducials represent a viable alternative to tantalum rings for guiding stereotactic radiotherapy to manage UM and provide additional definition of the tumor border with linear orientation that helps optimize targeted radiation delivery. Fiducial placement with a 3-mm margin from the visible tumor border should not result in clinically important radiation dose attenuation at the tumor margins. Anteriorly placed fiducials may cause discomfort, yet they are easily removed in the outpatient setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-375
Number of pages8
JournalOcular Oncology and Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021


  • Fiducial
  • Proton beam
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Tantalum ring
  • Uveal melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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